Appointment: Ovidiu Batineanu will head UEFCO

The International Federation of Corporate Football (FIFCO) is proud to announce the appointment of Ovidiu Batineanu, as the Director General of the Union of European Associations of Corporate Football (UEFCO).

Mr. Batineanu is a former professional football player, who has since been responsible for setting up and growing one of the most important corporate footballing institutions in his native Romania.  The National Corporate Football Championship is the most prestigious corporate football cup in Romania with well over 110 companies participating on an annual basis, in 3 regions.  “The appointment of Ovidiu is a positive step towards achieving our goals in Europe,” said the president of FIFCO Albert ZBILY.   “Ovidiu brings years of experience and an excellent team of qualified professionals to mange and host excellent quality football tournaments throughout Romania, and now in Europe,” continued Mr. ZBILY.

“I am delighted and honoured to accept this appointment” said Ovidiu Batineanu, “this is a wonderful sport, with incredible participants throughout the region.”

Mr Batineanu will spend the next few weeks announcing his management team and start strengthen the organisation throughout Europe.  UEFCO is based in Berlin, Germany and has the mandate to expand and build country members throughout the continent.

“Our first priority is to get as many European participants in the next FIFCO World Corporate Champions Cup for 2018,” declared Mr. Batineanu, “then we will start building the European Championships for 2019.”

FIFCO is the world governing body of corporate football and headquartered in Montreal, Canada. With 6 continental bodies operating under FIFCO – the orgnaistions’ mandate is to spread the sport, promote its core values, and manage the Corporate Champions Cup series of footballing tournaments around the world.

Starting a New Area: Canada to host first FIFCO World Corporate Champions Cup in 2018

The FIFCO Executive Committee has chosen Canada to organize the first World Corporate Champions Cup in 2018. Montreal will be the host city for the global showdown.

FIFCO-President, Albert Zbily, has announced this morning that Canada will be the first country to host the FIFCO World Corporate Champions Cup. “After evaluating the competing bids of 3 other bidding nations during the course of the last couple of months, we are happy to finally reveal the host nation of the first World Corporate Champions Cup today”, said Mr. Zbily in a brief statement. “It was not an easy decision to make. All of our applicants did an excellent job in presenting their concepts to the Executive Committee.”

The FIFCO-President also pointed out that hosting the first World Corporate Champions Cup might be challenging, since there will not be any tolerance granted when it comes down to the quality of the tournament. “As the world governing body of corporate soccer, FIFCO takes its responsibilities serious. The World Corporate Champions Cup will unite players from different continents in the spirit of fair play and respect. Our goal is to give them the platform that they deserve”, said Mr. Zbily, who confirmed later on that the world tournament will likely kick off on July 1st, 2018.

Montreal, being the headquarters of FIFCO, is an obvious choice for the first World Corporate Champions Cup. “Congratulations to Canada”, said Mr. Zbily.” FIFCO has an obligation to insure that these worldwide tournaments are properly organised and hosted with the best facilities and accommodations possible. Mr. Zbily has revealed that up to 15 nations will be hosted during the first set of games.

The Canadian bid has also confirmed the venue of the 2018 World Corporate Champions Cup to be at the Percival Molson Memorial Stadium at McGill University in Montreal. The stadium was renovated in 2010 for approximately $29.4 million and offers a capacity of a little over 25,000 seats. Due to its downtown location, the “Molson Stadium” will be easy to reach for both teams and fans. “The infrastructure is definitely a plus for Montreal”, said the FIFCO-President. “I am sure that we will experience a fantastic tournament on the slope of the Mont Royal.”

Mr. Zbily and his staff have a lot riding on their shoulders, with the eventual arrival of 15 nation delegations and the obligation to host the FIFCO annual meetings 1-day before the tournament is slated to commence. “We are also very confident about the 5×5 format for this football tournament. The 5×5 format is the fastest growing segment of world football today, and will offer a great opportunity to watch a very fast paced game with some incredible talent,” said Mr. Zbily.

The Canadian delegation will be announced only in April of 2018, as the qualifying games and teams will compete in this upcoming winter season of the Canadian Corporate Soccer League, the winner of their champions league will be the representative of Canada in the 2018 World Corporate Champions Cup.

For information regarding participation and sponsorship, contact us directly via our homepage www.fifco.org. Keep up to date with all the results of qualifying country matches via our social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter.

Referee Profile: Fonderson Ashu – Record Man

Soccer always played an important role in the life of Fonderson Ashu. Today, the 35-year old Cameroonian is considered to be one of the all-time top referees working for the Fédération Internationale de Football Corporatif (FIFCO). His remarkable career, which includes more than 500 games for the organization, can serve as a shining example for the next generation.

Kumba is not only the largest city in the Southwest Province of Cameroon but also the official trade centre for Cocoa and Palm Oil. Due to its excellent location close to the Gulf of Guinea, many foreign companies have started to invest into the local industry over the last two decades. Soccer is deeply rooted in the hearts and souls of the people in Kumba. Former national players like Samuel Eto’o or Rigobert Song enjoy an outstanding reputation amongst the local fans. One of them is Fonderson Ashu. The FIFCO-Referee lived most of his life in ‘K-Town’ and fell in love with soccer since his first days in school. “I grew up in an environment, where soccer is part of the culture”, said Mr. Ashu. “Even if my friends and I could not afford to buy a real ball, we always found a way to play. Sometimes, we simply tied together a bunch of old plastic bags or used unripe oranges.”

After graduating from school, Mr. Ashu decided to get involved professionally in the world of soccer. Only his jobs prevented him from doing so. “If someone would have offered me the opportunity to start my referee training in Cameroon, I would have taken it right away. In the end, I was not able to sign up though. The majority of games were scheduled to kick off in the afternoon, because not every stadium in the city had floodlights. Unfortunately, I could not quit my shift during that time of the day”, stated Mr. Ashu in his calm and steady voice. However, when the father of two kids moved to Canada in 2011, he finally had the chance to make his dream come true. “Everything changed for me, after I arrived in Montreal. The first company I was working for had a team in the Canadian Corporate Soccer League (CCSL) and my colleagues wanted me to join them. During my first season, I met Albert Zbily, who is the President of FIFCO. I told him that I would like to become a referee and he did not hesitate to invite me for a two day entry-level course”, said Mr. Ashu confidently.

It turned out that the training program was one of the key moments in the impressive career of the Cameroonian. Without learning the basic rules of refereeing, he would not have been able to reach the 500-game mark so quickly. That is also the reason why Mr. Ashu enjoys taking a trip down memory lane every once in a while. “When you get into something you truly love, you do not forget the details. I can remember that the entry course took place on a weekend. The training was split into a theoretical and practical part. In my final evaluation, I had to be linesman and centre referee”, recalled Mr. Ashu with a smile on his face. After receiving his referee license, the rookie was finally entitled to pick up the whistle. Before being assigned to a Premiership-game in the CCSL though, he had to prove his skills in the COED-Divisions. “My first match was at the McGill Forbes Field in Montreal. I was supposed to be one of the sideline referees, but I had a lot of difficulties to find the right place. Luckily, I managed to arrive five minutes ahead of time”, said Mr. Ashu. “It was not easy for me in the beginning.”

Like other FIFCO-Referees before him, Mr. Ashu had to learn that experience does not come overnight. The road to success is rather paved with obstacles and plenty of reasons to quit the job. That is why the 1,86m tall Cameroonian is always prepared for the worst case scenario to happen when he is entering the pitch. “I usually take a close look into the records of the teams on match days. In most of the cases, the statistics tell me already what I have to expect from a game. If a player got three bookings in the first five weeks of the season, it is very likely that I might give him a yellow card as well”, explained Mr. Ashu, who values the support of his referee team around him. Since soccer has become more and more dynamic over the last few decades, officials are encouraged to work even closer together. “Most of the time, you have to decide in less than a second about what happened in a specific situation. When you are in the centre of action, it is almost impossible to keep it all. I believe that you only have a chance to face all the challenges on the pitch, if you coordinate your steps with your colleagues”, stated Mr. Ashu. “You do not leave anybody behind.”

After gaining some valuable experience in his debut season, the 35-year old was quickly able to bring his game to another level. Due to his strong sense for professionalism, he managed to become one of the best FIFCO-Referees of the organization. “I think that I improved a lot since my rookie year. In the beginning, I was extremely strict with cards. Not that I gave bookings unnecessarily, but I started growing to the game. Today I have realized that you need to use your mouth as a referee, especially when the stakes are high and the competition is very physical”, admitted Mr. Ashu openly. Besides being communicative, the MBA graduate also tries to show the players who is in charge of the game by using body language. “It is crucial that you impose yourself right from the start. The players have to feel that you are the authority on the pitch. I compare referees often to police officers. Both are responsible for implementing the law”, said Mr. Ashu. “Do not expect the players to like you as a referee, because you give them the booking. Sometimes you make a mistake, but do not open up. There are of course some errors that you can correct directly as long as you let the players understand what you are doing.”

By officiating more than 500 games in his career, Mr. Ashu has raised the bar for other FIFCO-Referees. No other referee in the organization has reached this important milestone. Thus, it is not surprising that the Cameroonian has become a role model for the younger generation. If someone with less experience needs advice, he will get it eventually from the Manchester United FC supporter. “The first thing I would suggest, who is asking me for help, is to take every game you are assigned to as if it was a final. Always try to be fair and respectful. I think that this has been my secret”, said Mr. Ashu. “What I noticed also over the last years is that you should pay an extra amount of attention to the last five minutes of the match. If you lose your focus during crunch time, players might use that to their advantage.”

The FIFCO Referee department thanks you for your dedication and your passion. We are proud of your performance on the pitch. Congratulations on your 500th career game!

 

Referee Training Courses in Montreal, Canada

IMG_3986_400The International Federation of Corporate Football (FIFCO) will be offering another  session for introductory soccer referees on April 22-23, 2017. The course will focus on training new recruits of the fundamentals of the FIFA Laws of the Game and of the techniques of 7v7 officiating. Course is only offered in Montreal, Canada and we will hold one English and one French session.  This training seminar will last for 1.5 days, with one full day of classroom training and half a day on field training.  Cost of the course is C$100. Interested candidates should download the application form and forward it to info@fifco.org. Spaces are limited.

Cameroon & South Africa Latest Membership Additions

discoverysoccerparklogoAs we closed off the 2016 calendar year, the International Federation of Corporate Football (FIFCO) confirmed two new African members to its ranks, with the additions of Cameroon and South Africa.

“These two new members shows the resilience of the corporate football community and its growing needs for recognition and cooperation,” said Albert ZBILY, President of FIFCO.  “We are confident that these two new partners, will allow Africa to develop the sport and develop its acceptance amongst the general footballing community.”

In Cameroon, Richard Moukollo of Corpo Sport Event, heads up the organisation and has managed to develop a strong presence in Douala and other cities promoting inter-company play. “We are pleased with this association, because it gives as an international platform for all our members,” said Richard Moukollo.

In South Africa, Ryan Kalk, heads up Discovery Soccer Park, South Africa’s premier installation for 5-a-side football, is leading the way for corporate football operations in the country, “this is a new chapter in our development,” said Ryan of the recent membership to FIFCO.

Both countries represent a strategic growth for FIFCO and for the African division, CAFCO.  “We plan on using these bases to build a bigger presence in the region and to build our membership base throughout Africa,” said Albert ZBILY.

FIFCO is the world governing body of Corporate Football and headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our aim is to build the World Corporate Champions Cup and to promote our core values around the world. Follow us at www.fifco.org.

Morocco is the latest country to join FIFCO

2BrothersIt is with great please that the International Federation of Corporate Football (FIFCO), announces the membership of 2 Brothers Communication of Morocco as its newest member.

“The addition of Morocco to our membership base represents an important turning point for our organisation,” said Albert Zbily, President of FIFCO, “with their rich tradition in African Football, it should translate to excellent competition and an increase in regional interest of corporate football.”

2 Brothers Director General, Mr. Imad Mahassine, confirmed the popularity of corporate football in Morocco is in strong growth and their presence has been expanding across the country for the past few years.

“Our approach to corporate football is no different than any other country, we are interested in getting companies involved in the four corners of the country,” said Imad Mahassine, “we are looking forward to our national championship and our winning team representing their firm, but also our country in the next level of championship.”

FIFCO is the world governing body of Corporate Football and headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our aim is to build the World Corporate Champions Cup and to promote our core values around the world. Follow us at www.fifco.org.

 

International Referee Training

International Referee Training

The International Federation of Corporate Football (FIFCO) is proud to announce the renewal of the International Referee Training Internship in Montreal, Canada.  Referees of all levels are welcome to apply to come and visit Montreal and officiate full games at every level.

Now in its fifth year running, this program allows referees to gain some valuable officiating experience in Montreal.  “This program benefits referees from a perspective of football culture and attitudes in different countries, ” said Albert ZBILY, President of FIFCO.

Referees will receive full match fees (as per FIFCO referee scale).  Interested referees should apply immediately using the application form.  Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis until we reach the maximum quota.  First game will be played in Montreal on 26 April 2017.

For all questions, regarding this program and any other FIFCO referee program – please contact Daniel CURCIO.

Appointment of Sebastián Di Poi – Regional Director of Latin America (COSAFCO)

DiPoiThe International Federation of Corporate Football (FIFCO), the world governing body of corporate football, is proud to announce the appointment of Sebastián Di Poi to the position of Regional Director of Latin America in the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol Corporativo (COSAFCO) division.

Mr. Di Poi will be responsible for building the new department and to recuit new members in Latin America.  “This is a step in the right direction,” said Albert ZBILY, President of FIFCO, “with the addition of Sebastián, we now can concentrate on a very important region in corporate football development.”

Di Poi, is a graduate of Concordia University in Montréal, Canada and will be based out of the FIFCO headquarters.  This new addition to the FIFCO family, allows the organisation to branch out into a part of the world that has a long history and tradition in Corporate Football.

FIFCO is proud to welcome Mr. Di Poi to the FIFCO family.

Appointment of Akram SROUR – Vice President Finance

Akram_ZbilyAlbert ZBILY, President of the International Federation of Corporate Football (FIFCO), the world governing body of corporate football, is proud to announce the appointment of Mr. Akram SROUR of Switzerland to the position of Vice-President of Finance.

Akram is an MBA graduate of the prestigious IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, he is a long-time footballer and committed to the Corporate Football values.

“When ever we can add a person with such strong values in sport and work, with some solid experience, we do,” said Mr. ZBILY, “Akram will be a valuable team player on the executive team with strong leadership and an excellent vision for the future of FIFCO.”

FIFCO is proud to welcome Akram to this position and to the growing FIFCO family.

Appointment of Daniel Curcio – Vice President of Officiating

FIFCO AppointmentThe International Federation of Corporate Football (FIFCO) is proud to announce the appointment of Mr. Daniel Curcio of Italy, as Vice-President of Officiating.

The Appointment takes effect immediately and will encompass the heavy job of building a new department.

“This is an excellent appointment of a very qualified individual who will bring the entire organization to a different level,” said Albert ZBILY, President of FIFCO.

Daniel is the president of the TournamentsAbroad.com, a worldwide organization promoting referees and high-end tournaments.  Daniel brings much experience to the position and will be tasked to build policies and a development programme to promote referees at the national and international level.  He will work directly with our country members in insuring the highest level of officiating at all the levels of corporate football.

FIFCO welcomes Daniel to the ever growing family of Corporate Football.

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