African development takes centre stage
© AFP

While July’s sporting headlines were largely dominated by events in London, there were also significant happenings in the world of football development – particularly in Africa, where South Sudan marked a major milestone.  

Through various initiatives, FIFA helps its member associations to broaden their horizons, develop their skills and promote the growth of football. Join FIFA.com as we take our monthly look at FIFA’s development efforts around the world.

The highlight
A year and a day after declaring independence, and on home soil, South Sudan played their first officially sanctioned game of football as a national team. The South Sudanese earned a highly respectable 2-2 draw against Uganda, an established force in African football.

Gone but not forgotten
Carlos Gustavo, a former player with Brazilian side Vasco de Gama, died recently at the age of 49. A respected coach and instructor, Gustavo was perhaps best known for his work at ASEC Mimosas’ academy in Côte d’Ivoire, where he helped to train several Ivorian internationals including Kolo and Yaya Toure, Salomon Kalou, Didier Zokora, Copa Barry and Gervinho.

Programmes and activities:

Grassroots football

Mauritius, 30 July to 5 August : More than 12,000 children – boys and girls – took part in a successful, country-wide grassroots programme organised by FIFA.

Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, July: To coincide with the Copa Coca-Cola U-17 final, FIFA worked alongside the Tanzanian Football Federation to stage a grassroots festival. The event was attended by some 350 children.

Courses
Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, 16 July: Following the Copa Coca-Cola U-17  final, watched by 7,000 spectators at the Karume Technical Centre, FIFA launched and conducted a course for the 18 coaches who had taken part in the tournament, as well as the referees involved in the final.

Cameroon, Yaounde, 16-20 July: The CAF Academy in Mbankomo, on the outskirts of Yaounde, hosted a seminar for regional heads of educational development. The seminar, co-organised by FIFA, was both informative and full of interaction.

Goal and PERFORMANCE Programmes
South Sudan, Juba: A FIFA delegation met with the South Sudan Football Federation in early July. Discussions focused on the implementation of infrastructure projects for the Goal project and PERFORMANCE Programme, which will ultimately lead to the construction of a national technical centre.

South Africa, Johannesburg, 18-20 July: Thirty-one FIFA instructors, who had previously taken part in a Futuro III course, attended an administration and management’ workshop to hone their skills and broaden their knowledge.

Women’s football
Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, July: Representatives from the National Olympic Committee, the private sector, the media and NGOs attended a FIFA-organised Com-Unity seminar. The event produced fruitful discussions and debate about the development of women’s football.

Ethiopia, Rwanda, Haiti, Republic of Ireland, Grenada, Costa Rica: Six festivals for young girls were held by FIFA in July. The events aimed to promote grassroots development of women’s football around the world, and to give young females the chance to take up the sport.

Facts and figures
29 million
– A year on from the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™, women’s football now counts more than 29 million participants around the world.

53 – The number of educational and technical events organised by FIFA in July 2012 alone. If that level of activity were to be maintained for a whole year, FIFA would stage more than 600 courses, festivals, seminars and other events.

They said
“We began our rebuilding plan by focusing on youth development. Should everything go smoothly, and with the help of FIFA programmes, we hope we can build a promising youth team that can qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2021,” General Secretary of the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF).

“I am very happy to be in Cardiff for the first accredited FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence in Great Britain. This is a very well established and respected medical institution,” Professor Jiri Dvorak, FIFA Chief Medical Officer.