WTO, FIFA Join to Promote Wider Sharing of Football's Benefits

Intellectual property rules underpin the $200 billion global football economy, but the benefits are not shared by all, according the WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and FIFA President Gianni Infantino. In a guest column for AllAfrica, they outline how their two organizations are joining hands "to diversify the global networks of suppliers that feed into FIFA merchandising".

They are urging manufacturers "to invest in sourcing and value addition in least developed countries that are not part of their existing supply chains."  WTO and FIFA "will seek to boost the sourcing of cotton used in FIFA's sportswear and other merchandising from least-developed countries such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali, where cotton is a particularly important source of livelihoods and export revenue."

Their "call for action" comes a month before the start of FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Among the 32 teams competing for the championship are five from Africa -  Cameroon, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Ghana. In August, WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the Qatar Health Minister, Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, announced a campaign to use the World Cup as a platform to promote health across the world.

A Food and Agricultural Organization project supports capacity development to contribute to healthy cotton sectors and increase the incomes of cotton farming families in Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia.

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