In 2020, VIVATURF finished the installation of more than 10 soccer fields targeting FIFA certificates. Then, what is FIFA certificate? What does it mean if the field gets a FIFA certificate? Below are details for your reference.
FIFA(International Federation of Association Football) is an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and efootball. It is the highest governing body of football. In order to control the quality of football turf pitches, FIFA has proposed the FIFA Quality Programme for Football Turf. It operates a licensing scheme for companies that are committed to quality football turf pitches and fulfill a set of stringent requirements. Only the companies operating under the FIFA Quality Programme are eligible to obtain certification for their football turf installations.
FIFA certified artificial playing surfaces have been tested in the laboratory and on the field according to the stringent testing criteria of the FIFA Quality Programme. FIFA not only tests the products but also the whole football pitch sport systems which including artificial turf, infill materials, foundation and so on. Actually, all these systems must fulfill the quality requirements necessary for football in terms of playing performance, safety, durability and quality assurance. Football turf pitches that meet the FIFA Quality Programme requirements are awarded either the FIFA QUALITY or the FIFA QUALITY PRO mark. FIFA QUALITY mark is for pitches that meet the standard for community and amateur pitches, and the FIFA QUALITY PRO mark is for pitches that ensure the highest playing performance for professional-level football.
As artificial grass manufacturers, becoming FIFA licensee is the first step. After that, they could apply for the FIFA certificate for football turf fields. Then, how to become a FIFA licensee?
To become a new licensee of the FIFA Quality Programme, the applicants need to follow the four-step application process to demonstrate that they are in line with the quality aspirations of the FIFA Quality Programme.
1. Initial meeting with FIFA
Firstly manufacturers should contact FIFA and learn more details about the detailed application process.
2. Factory audition
Both the FIFA Quality Programme audition and WFSGI audition are needed. FIFA Quality Programme audition is validating the general information of the application manufacturer, including manufacturing capacity, management system, quality assurance, financial background and so on. While WFSGI audition is to ensure that FIFA certified footballs and artificial turf are produced in compliance with the Code of Conduct outlining internationally recognized labor standards. In addition, the reports should be applied by FIFA approved agents like SGS, PWC, DTT, KPCE, EY, TUV and so on.
3. Provide passed lab report & 3 IMS (International Match Standard) field test reports from a FIFA accredited test institute
At least one product system should pass the laboratory test and three installation fields should pass the field tests by FIFA designated third-party testing agents, such as LABOSPORT, SPORTS LABS, etc.
4. Licensee Agreement
After FIFA received all the reports, they would review the results. If they are satisfied with the results, they will offer the contract to the applicant. Then the applicant should sign the agreement, arrange the payment and wait for the FIFA licensee information release. The FIFA licensee and product system information can be checked on FIFA official website after the information release.
Once the manufacturers become FIFA licensee, they can use their tested turf/system to install the football field and then apply for the FIFA certificate of the field.