Wednesday 03 July 2024, 07:30

FIFA Member Associations in focus (June 2024)

  • Football for Schools build further momentum with major roll-outs

  • Emerging female referees take next step

  • FIFA’s latest global investment projects for the month reviewed

We review the fantastic work done in the past month across just some of FIFA’s 211 member associations in conjunction with the world governing body, all united by a shared goal of growing the beautiful game.

Women’s football demonstrates further growth

There were more milestones in recent weeks for the fast-looming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024™ and the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Dominican Republic 2024™ - both of which will mark historic events for the respective nations. Match officials were named for Colombia 2024 with the tournament to be the first World Cup to feature ongoing trialling of Football Video Support. Meanwhile, the draw was conducted for Dominican Republic 2024 - the first FIFA tournament to be held in the nation. The hosts will debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, before further challenges against New Zealand and Nigeria.

Kenya will be one of the teams lining up in the Dominican Republic after their Women’s Football Strategy returned strong dividends with first-ever FIFA tournament qualification. Further afield, Australia continues to enjoy an ongoing afterglow after co-hosting last year’s highly successful FIFA Women’s World Cup™. Football Australia hosted their inaugural Women’s Football Summit before a Matildas-record home crowd of nearly 77,000 filled Stadium Australia, scene of Spain’s triumph last August. Led by FIFA expert Simon Toselli, India hosted a strategy workshop for women's football in New Delhi. With the aim of taking Indian women's football forward towards a consistent and reflective sporting fabric of the country, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), FIFA and relevant stakeholders came together to deliberate and discuss the way forward. Development was also in focus as Ecuador and Nicaragua hosted women’s football festivals.

Meanwhile, the Swiss Football Association (SFA) recently presented its legacy project to sustainably promote and strengthen women's football. The project will run from the beginning of 2024 to the end of 2027 and provides for development measures in the areas of grassroots football, elite football and at a social level.  

Football for Schools continues growth

At the end of June, the FIFA Football for Schools program was officially launched in Uganda with a three-day event at the FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru. An incredible 362 schools are scheduled to take part in a programme which is a perfect fit for one of the youngest populations in the world. There is also strong momentum for Football for Schools in Honduras, where there was a recent activity to promote the programme which will be officially launched 23-25 July.

Football for Schools (F4S) is a program run by FIFA in partnership with UNESCO to contribute to the education, development and empowerment of around 700 million children around the world.

Referee Cheryl Foster honoured as next generation rises

Cheryl Foster was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her services to Welsh football. The former international (63 caps) has refereed at the highest level in both men's and women's football in Wales. She earned her FIFA badge in 2015 and was added to the UEFA Women's Elite Referee List in the 2020/21 season. In August 2018, she became the first woman to referee a match in the JD Cymru Premier and featured prominently at last year's Women's World Cup.

In a similar vein, Marta Huerta de Aza became the first referee in Spain promoted into men’s professional football. Meanwhile, the next generation of female referees in Ghana enjoyed tuition with a FIFA course conducted. Saudi Arabia was the location for a major gathering of elite AFC referees. Match Officials in Uruguay enjoyed the benefits of a FIFA course, while a regional course was hosted in El Salvador.

Talent Development Scheme on a roll

The FIFA Talent Development Scheme continues to grow globally with June notably marked by significant activities taking place in Honduras and Nicaragua. Meanwhile a major event was hosted in Ghana with the Knowledge Exchange Workshop held in Accra. The expansive five-day event brought together ten member associations; Algeria, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.

Coaching the coaches

Technical development was in focus with two FIFA Technical Development Experts visiting Namibia as part of a Coaches Capacity Building Programme with a host of local coaches taking the opportunity to enhance their skillset.

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