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Global football development

In 2023, the FIFA Talent Development Scheme (TDS) moved forward to the phase of full implementation. In March, the regulations for the 2023-2026 operational life cycle were approved by the FIFA Council and welcomed by the FIFA Congress in Rwanda.

FIFA aims to create a sustainable legacy for long-term talent development by maximising each member association’s opportunities. The TDS, led by FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger, aims to help member associations to fulfil their potential by ensuring that every talented player has a chance to be detected and developed. The main goal of the TDS is to raise the standards of national-team football around the world for both men and women, driven by FIFA’s desire for a long-term dedication to global talent development.

There are many children in the world who don’t get the chance to develop their talent, and we can change that.

Arsène Wenger
FIFA Chief of Global Football Development

Launched in 2022, the TDS aims to increase global competitiveness in both men’s and women’s national- team football so that more countries can shine on the world stage. It focuses on investing in academies, with FIFA planning to ensure that member associations have at least one high-performance academy or centre of excellence in place through the FIFA Academies Programme. Coaching is another feature of the TDS, with FIFA supporting member associations by providing knowledge and guidance from FIFA talent coaches. Expanding the youth World Cups and holding them more frequently are cornerstones of this initiative. FIFA wants to increase global competitiveness by supporting every member association in reaching its full potential and giving every talent a chance. The focus is on establishing high-performance environments – including through a programme designed to assist member associations. “There are many children in the world who don’t get the chance to develop their talent, and we can change that,” said Arsène Wenger. “We want to develop elite players in countries where there’s potential for further development.” By using insights gained from FIFA’s ecosystem analysis, the TDS aims to create or reinforce high-performance football culture by supporting the development of its core components: management and resources, national teams, domestic competitions, talent identification and development, academies and education.

Facts and figures

member associations will be involved in the first round after submitting a long-term TDS plan. The scheme is open annually to all 211 FIFA Member Associations.

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The FIFA President backed Arsène Wenger’s scheme with a significant investment commitment. The funds will be reinvested and ensure that every talent is given a chance to shine.

A team of 30+ high-performance specialists has been formed to support member associations.

Arsène Wenger and his team have produced a global snapshot of the ecosystem in which the world’s young footballers are developed.

Talent Coaches

In the next two years, 25 of FIFA’s member associations will benefit from a talent coach to reach their full potential and “give every talent a chance”. The FIFA Talent Coach Programme is an important element of the TDS. The talent coaches will set up and deliver training for selected young players and local coaches. The talent coaches should be role models for other coaches, giving advice on how elite talent development should look. FIFA wants to raise international standards and make sure it builds a high-performance environment for talents – because it does not matter where you are born.

FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger visits India

2023-2026 cycle

Moving forward, the Global Football Development Division will provide support in four ways: Talent development A high-performance football environment is key to giving every talent a chance and to making national teams stronger. The TDS will offer various programmes to support this vision. Technical leadership Strong technical leadership is essential in managing football. The programme will be extended with more offerings, including an accredited FIFA diploma. Coaching development Quality players on the pitch need good coaches. FIFA can help member associations to train qualified coach educators in order to run coach education programmes in line with their confederation’s coaching convention. Amateur football The Amateur Football Environment Analysis will look at how we can work together to grow the game even more. It will form the basis for the support provided to member associations later in this cycle.

FIFA Technical Study Group

Starting at the FIFA Club World Cup™ in Morocco, FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG) was tasked with selecting the player of the match, while a team of analysts also monitored, tracked and coded the performance of every player, noting their movements with and without the ball, how many times they broke through lines of defence, and how much pressure they put on opposition ball carriers. The same task applied for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina™ (May-June), the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand (July-August), the FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia™ (November-December) and the FIFA Club World Cup Saudi Arabia™ (December).

Germany v France - Final: FIFA U-17 World Cup

Every moment of every match was watched live, in person, by a member of the TSG. In all competitions, the TSG’s responsibilities included identifying and analysing technical, tactical and physical trends as they emerged, nominating the player of the match for each game and selecting the winners of the adidas Golden Ball. With the tournament in Indonesia providing so many benefits to players in the U-17 age group, there was a welcome reaction globally when it was announced that the FIFA U-17 World Cup™ would turn into an annual tournament in 2025, moving from its current standing as a biannual event.

FIFA Training Centre online

The FIFA Training Centre is a dynamic platform, whose purpose is to share knowledge with technicians of the game. It is FIFA’s online educational platform for football development: the go-to place for top-class technical information together with the Technical Development Platform, which member associations use to apply and register for FIFA’s programmes.

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Social responsibility and education

Human rights, anti-discrimination, sustainability and safeguarding were at the forefront of FIFA’s activities in 2023. The work carried out over the 12 months – from grassroots to the elite level of the game – was both substantial and impactful.

Women’s football

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup as the focal piece of the year, women’s football made further great strides forward over the course of 2023.