Jan
16
2008
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FIDOM – FIFA’s Electronic Memory

Approximately 40,000 documents on the history of football and FIFA, available via the internet all over the world at any time of the day or night. The new FIFA document management system (FIDOM) sets unprecedented standards in the world of sports archives.

Which decisions did the FIFA Executive Committee reach at its last meeting? Is there already a photograph of Lord Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the new Ethics Committee? When was Germany readmitted to FIFA after the Second World War and what was the state of FIFA’s financial affairs during the great economic depression? The answers to all of these questions are to be found in FIDOM, the document and photo database belonging to world football’s governing body.
Originally set up in 2002, the documentation system was expanded at the beginning of last year to keep up with modern times. Nowadays, information must be instantly available anywhere in the world. The fact that some 40,000 documents (mostly as PDF files) are immediately accessible to FIFA employees for downloading at any time greatly eases the workload in the general secretariat.
Ateamoffourpeoplein the Information Services Department is responsible for maintaining and updating FIFA’s electronic document archives. Correct cataloguing and standard indexing are of paramount importance in carrying out this work, as only documents that are properly filed can ever be retrieved again. The FIDOM team’s operations are simplified by the fact that today almost all imported documents are already in electronic format. Less time is spent digitalising hard copies of publications than when the first FIDOM edition was set up, when each bit of paper had to be laboriously scanned into the system ready for research purposes. Although widely acclaimed in specialised publications, the paperless office is not the be-all and end-all for FIFA, despite state-of-the-art technical options. For instance, FIFA’s original statutes, dating back to 1904 or the International Football Association Board’s records on the Laws of the Game, tracing the very roots of modern football over a century ago, are far too priceless to throw away.