Tuesday 04 June 2024, 09:00

The identity and philosophy of Colombian football: focus of the second Football with a Future seminar

  • National team head coaches, coaches, former national-team coaches and youth-system directors were brought together in Bogotá to debate the issue

  • This Colombian Football Association (FCF) project is supported by the FIFA Forward Programme

  • The goal is to innovate, improve and strengthen the methodology used across all Colombian national teams and their scouting network

The second seminar of the Colombian FA’s Fútbol con Futuro (Football with a Future) project, which is supported by the FIFA Forward Programme and aims to encourage innovation and strengthen working methodologies across all their national teams, was held in Bogotá on 20 and 21 May.

The focus of the meeting was “building the identity and philosophy of Colombian football," a key aspect of the Football with a Future project which will enable the FCF to finish defining its development phases, playing style and training methodologies, as well as player and scouting profiles.

Among those present were the coaching staff of Colombia’s national teams, led by the country’s senior men’s head coach Néstor Lorenzo; former national-team supremos including Francisco Maturana, Luis Fernando Suárez and Reinaldo Rueda; Colombian pro football coaches such as René Higuita and Eduardo Lara; and a number of youth-system directors.

“I’m incredibly pleased to hold this seminar with so many of the iconic coaches Colombia has had, spanning every level. The goal is to strengthen Colombian football more and more," said Ramón Jesurún, FCF President and FIFA Council member.

Since the first Football with a Future seminar, carried out in March 2023, the FCF has been working on producing a document that enables them to make work flows with their national teams more systematic, including the project’s other significant foundation stones such as investment in technology and in youth footballers’ social development.

The plan covers the 2022-25 period and will receive a total of a little over USD 2,300,000 from the FIFA Forward Programme, cycles 1.0 and 2.0.

“We’re very happy to play our part on the administrative and technical side to help find the ideologies and methodologies that are so necessary in Colombian football. And not just at national-team level, but also in terms of clubs, professional football, regional leagues and the amateur game. We hope that the finished product is coming soon," said Sergio Palacios, the Asunción-based Regional Office Development Manager for the Americas subdivision.

Also representing FIFA at this second seminar were Daniel Bañales, Regional Technical Evaluator, and high-performance specialist Diogo Matos.

“Colombia has huge footballing potential. For that reason it’s equally exciting working on helping the Federation obtain the sporting results it so wants and needs," said Matos.

“The basis is having an idea of how to teach football across the whole country, firstly thinking about the national team set-up and then about areas of work including coach development and how to influence clubs, which are the ones which provide the players,” he added.

Iván Novella, the FCF’s Development Director, knows that the right path has been taken. “A successful case are the U-17, U-20 and senior women’s national teams, which have achieved significant sporting results,” explained Novella. “All the preparatory work with these national teams was carried out using resources from this project, such as, for example, being able to have settled coaching staffs.” It is also worth noting that in less than three months, Colombia are set to host the 11th edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™.

The next phase of the Football with a Future project is the publication of the work carried out, in a report named the “Document on building the identity and philosophy of Colombian football". The aim is to complete this before the end of this year, as part of the FCF’s centenary celebrations, and subsequently put the report into practice.

FIFA Forward