The FIFA Quality marks explained
FIFA Quality marks are an integral part of the FIFA Quality Programme, helping end users of football products, technologies and playing surfaces to identify products that have been tested and certified to the FIFA Quality Programme standards. In July 2021, a new certification level – FIFA Basic – will be established in addition to the FIFA Quality and FIFA Quality Pro standards.
The first FIFA Quality marks were launched in 1996 together with the FIFA Quality Programme (FQP), which saw the first footballs certified to the FIFA Approved and FIFA Inspected standards. As new marks were added to the family with the launch of new programmes and initiatives, such as the FIFA Preferred Producer, the FIFA Quality marks were harmonised in 2014. The FIFA Quality & Quality Pro marks, still used to this day, were launched along with the FIFA Quality Programme for Goal-Line Technology.
In October 2020, the FQP presented the next generation of FIFA Quality marks to the football industry. The renowned FIFA Quality and FIFA Quality Pro marks have been redesigned, and a new quality mark – FIFA Basic – has been created to replace the current IMS (International Match Standard) mark.
Developed in line with FIFA’s Vision 2020-2023 to democratise football and make it truly global, the FIFA Basic mark will help to spread football technologies globally and explore new technologies that can have a positive impact on the game. The FIFA Basic standard will play a key role in this journey.
FIFA Basic follows the International Match Standard (IMS)
Replacing the IMS mark with the FIFA Basic mark will enhance the visibility and the degree of recognition of the entry-level certification within the FIFA Quality Programmes. Whilst safety and performance criteria will always play an important role in product testing, the FIFA Basic standard has been developed to identify products, technologies and playing surfaces that are cost-efficient and offer a viable alternative to FIFA Quality or FIFA Quality Pro products for member associations, competition organisers and clubs with limited budgets.
Given the varying levels of development amongst the Quality Programmes themselves, the FIFA Basic standard will be implemented gradually. Whilst the FIFA Basic mark will directly replace the IMS mark for the FQP for Footballs, the development in other FQPs, such as the FIFA Basic standard for Broadcast EPTS or VAR Light systems, will be an ongoing process until July 2021 and beyond.
Guidance to choose the quality level for a competition
Each quality standard, represented by the marks, has been designed to validate specific safety and performance criteria of products, technologies and playing surfaces in accordance with the needs at different levels of the game, from grassroots football all the way up to the FIFA World Cup™. To help you select the product that best meets a competition’s demands, below is an overview of the prevailing requirements of each quality standard:
The test requirements for this standard are designed to identify products that fulfil basic performance, accuracy, safety and durability criteria for football. The focus is on setting minimum standards while ensuring affordability for use at all levels of the game.
The test requirements emphasise the durability and safety of these products, playing surfaces and technologies more than for the FIFA Basic standard. Basic performance and accuracy criteria are tested, but the main focus is on ensuring extensive use.
FIFA Quality Pro
The emphasis of the test requirements is on first-class performance, accuracy and safety. Products, playing surfaces and technologies with this quality mark are designed for optimal performance and use at the highest level.
Transitioning to the new Quality marks
As of 1 July 2021, in line with the publication of the new edition of the Laws of the Game, the new FIFA marks will be binding for all existing Quality Programmes with a reference in the Laws of the Game: Footballs, Football Turf, GLT, EPTS, VAR and VOL. Prior to the publication of the new Laws, the FIFA Quality Programme will continue to award the current FIFA Quality, FIFA Quality Pro and IMS marks to all above-mentioned products, technologies and playing surfaces. These will remain eligible for use until their certification expires.
Licensees that wish to update the Quality marks on already certified products after July 2021 will have the option to do so in consultation with FIFA.