Fifa’s development programme attracts hundred of football associations

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Arsène Wenger. Picture: Getty Images
Arsène Wenger. Picture: Getty Images


More than 200 member associations across all confederations have signed up for Fifa’s first talent development programme, setting a new benchmark for initiatives created by the world football governing body.

Launched in January by Fifa’s chief of global football development Arsène Wenger, the programme aims to provide member associations with a thorough analysis of their high-performance ecosystem in men’s and women’s football, including all national teams, domestic leagues, scouting projects and academies, to ensure that every talented player gets a chance to reach their potential.

“The whole world has signed up for the Fifa talent development programme. We are very proud of the high number of participants and the trust that all member associations have given us. With trust comes responsibility, though. We have to be swift, helpful, knowledgeable and efficient,” said Wenger.

Thanks to technology, football can stay united despite the distance. We have received positive feedback from the member associations, as they are eager to start.
Fifa’s chief of global football development Arsène Wenger

“The success of the programme will be based on good communication and a precise analysis of the needs of every member association so that we can deliver a report and provide tailor-made support. We also want to create opportunities, for example, through best practice models in which member associations can learn from each other, and have the possibility to think outside of the box and their own environment,” he added.

As health remains a main priority in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, online tools are set to play a key role in the implementation of the talent development programme.

Read: Why do SA squads not have room for teenagers?

A group of 30 Fifa experts, including former US women’s national team coach April Heinrichs, former England manager Steve McClaren and former English Premier League director of football development Ged Roddy, have been replacing their on-site visits with remote assessments and – based on online surveys and interviews – will produce a report for each of the member associations, thus mapping their technical ecosystems.

“Thanks to technology, football can stay united despite the distance. We have received positive feedback from the member associations, as they are eager to start. Football has a huge educational responsibility. The Fifa Talent Development Programme is aimed at giving a chance to every child in the world who wants to play football, and help him or her to improve and experience positive emotions.

“I hope the programme can help children to become top-level players or, if not, at least give them the opportunity to follow their dreams and play the game that they love,” concluded Wenger. –


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