Schools Association Football International Board
SAFIB (or SFIB as it was first known) has been in existence since 1914 and originally consisted of the Schoolboy Football Associations of England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland joined in 1935. In 1982 a meeting was held in Glasgow with SAFIB reps (The Secretary at that time was Arthur Rice, & Scotland was represented by Bob Docherty & John Watson) and Swiss and French personnel in order to attempt to expand into Europe. Jean-Pierre Escalettes (F) and Charly Rubli (CH) set about contacting other Federations. The first new members were ASF-SFV (Switzerland) and FFF (France) along with KNVB (The Netherlands).
a) ‘to promote the welfare of schoolboy/schoolgirl football’ (where young people are still in full-time education) and
b) ‘to regulate and control the playing of Invitation International matches at under-16 and under-15 levels’
The current trend is to take part in UEFA and other International Tournaments, but other friendly matches are always welcomed and the Board provides an important forum for the exchange of information and issues on the development of football for young people.
Four annual Competitions are organised by SAFIB:
- The Victory Shield– the British Championship for U16 Boys teams representing England, N Ireland, Scotland and Wales
- The Centenary Shield – British Isles Championship for U18 Boys teams representing English Schools FA, Football Association of Irish Schools, Northern Ireland Schools FA, Scottish Schools FA and Welsh Schools FA
- The Bob Docherty Trophy – for competition between U15 Girls teams representing the Football Association of Irish Schools, Northern Ireland Schools FA, Scottish Schools FA and Welsh Schools FA
- The British Isles Cup – for competition between the U14 champion schools representing English Schools FA, Football Association of Irish Schools, Northern Ireland Schools FA, Scottish Schools FA and Welsh Schools FA
Of course, other issues of importance to member Associations are discussed. The welfare of young players under the school leaving age is of particular concern to SAFIB. SAFIB has also been concerned about the behaviour of ‘Parents on the Touchline’ in grassroots football, and at the present time there are discussions on the issue of ‘Child Protection’ as well as regular consideration of projects that seek to address matters of inclusion.