Football development was at the core of the two-day visit of FIFA President Blatter to Dushanbe. There, he officially opened Tajikistan’s Year of Grassroots, inaugurated Goal project II – an artificial turf in Dushanbe Central Stadium – and laid the first stone of Goal project III, another artificial turf pitch.
A meeting with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe’s Palace of Nations and a visit to the Super Cup final between FC Ravshan Kulob and FC Istiklol on Tuesday evening kick-started the visit.
“We are proud to support activities like Tajikistan’s Year of Grassroots, since they make a concrete contribution to further enhancing the popularity of football across the world,” said FIFA President Blatter. “It’s important that such initiatives also make a positive impact on the development of women’s football.
“When I first visited Tajikistan in 2004, the country was recovering from civil war. Nowadays I’m proud to see how football has played an important role in bringing hope and education to thousands of Tajiks.”
A total of 6,000 coaches and 50,000 children are set to benefit from about 100 grassroots courses and 150 festivals that FIFA is set to organise during 2014.
Grassroots courses and festivals are scheduled to take place in all confederations with 35 of them organised in the AFC region, 25 in CAF, 15 in CONCACAF, 15 in UEFA, five in CONMEBOL and five in OFC. Brunei Darussalam (30 April-4 May) and Sierra Leone (5-10 May) will be staging their maiden FIFA grassroots programmes in 2014.
10,000 balls, 15,000 bibs, 5,000 cones, 5,000 markers, 25,000 t-shirts, and 3,000 mini goals will be used by FIFA for its grassroots activities throughout the year. Teaching will be based on the official grassroots manual that has been translated into seven languages. 6,000 manuals, 5,000 DVDs and 5,000 CDs will be put at the disposal of member associations, and 20,000 brochures will be submitted to parents, coaches and participating children.
Since the inception of FIFA grassroots programmes, a total of 348 courses and 400 festivals have been implemented in 150 countries.