The UAE Pro League’s pioneering child safeguarding project entered its third phase of implementation in collaboration with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior Child Protection Centre.
This phase involves a mandatory awareness program for all UAE Pro League club staff in direct contact with children. The program, which is available online in Arabic and English, features vital information on UAE Child Rights Laws, recognizing different types of abuse, with key football related examples, as well as understanding child development phases and educating staff on national reporting frameworks. The program also sees the participation of international education and safeguarding specialists to educate participants on core areas of safeguarding.
Participants are closely tracked and monitored by the UAE Pro League to ensure that each member of the club staff has undertook the program, which includes a series of videos and presentations, followed by an online assessment. The UAE Pro league is also working closely with the UAE Football Association technical department & coach education team to ensure that all new coaches undertake the program as a pre-requisite before getting their new coaching licenses.
Waleed Al Hosani, UAE Pro League CEO, expressed his delight with the launch of the third phase of the program, explaining: "We are proud of this pioneering initiative because child protection and welfare will always remain a priority for us. This program, which is done in collaboration with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior Child Protection Centre, focuses on raising awareness of children’s rights and ensuring a safe football environment for children in all UAE clubs.”
He added, "we intend to adopt a clear and written policy in Child Safeguarding; a step towards a brighter future for football and all of its stakeholders.
The second phase of the program saw the allocation of Child Safeguarding Officers (CSO’s) in each of the 14 clubs and training them to protect children in each of their respective football clubs. Following the program’s launch on May 28th, the UAE Pro League received praise and support from different parties including the FIFA and the AFC, as the Pro League became the first governing body in the Middle East to launch a Child Safeguarding program.