Eighteen months after South Sudan became FIFA’s 209th member association, a programme for top referees and assistant referees in the country finished in Juba on Thursday. It was FIFA’s maiden development course in South Sudan.
Thirty participants – 28 male and two female – from all over South Sudan gathered in the country’s largest city for the five-day programme, which aimed at upgrading the theoretical and practical knowledge of referees and assistants referees on the interpretation of the laws of the game. The course was opened by the President of the South Sudan Football Association, Chabur Goc Alei, and it sparked great attention from the local media.
“The importance of this programme goes far beyond the scope of a five-day course. The fact that this is the first time that FIFA organises a development course in South Sudan is seen as a major milestone, which has been confirmed by the football association authorities and the impressive media coverage on site,” said Ahmed El Shenawi, the responsible FIFA instructor.
A further FIFA development initiative that has benefited the South Sudan Football Association is Goal project, which will be used for the construction of its headquarters within the scope of a USD 500,000 investment. This grant will be supplemented by an additional award of USD 500,000 through the programmes for less-privileged member associations, laying solid foundations for the new organisation.
A FIFA coaching course is set to take place in Juba from 2-5 December 2013.
Between 1999 and 2012, an investment of USD 426,517,856 has been made by FIFA in football development in Africa, mainly through the Financial Assistance Programme (USD 259,900,000) and Goal (USD 67,600,000).
South Sudan was officially admitted as FIFA’s 209th member at the 62nd Congress that took place in Budapest in May 2012. The General Assembly of the United Nations had already confirmed South Sudan’s membership in July 2011.