The third grassroots course organised by FIFA in Qatar concluded on Wednesday 22 April 2015 in Doha, with the participation of 30 coaches.

The five-day programme conducted by FIFA instructor Nihad Souqar (Jordan) followed-up on a similar course implemented in May 2014 and focused on practical and theoretical training, in the areas of grassroots football with the objective of enabling participants to run grassroots activities within Qatar’s professional clubs. The course ended with a practical session - a grassroots festival - joined by 135 children.

“The number of registered players between the ages of 7 and 12 in Qatar has increased from 250 in 2002 to 3000 in 2014 following the decisions made by the Qatar Football Association to make grassroots football a priority,” commented Wajdi Boussarsar, Grassroots Technical Director of the Qatar Football Association (QFA).

“The course provided us with a clear insight into some key aspects of grassroots football, including children’s development, the organisation of football festivals and basic football skills, which will play a key role in the development of our sport in Qatar,” said Kniss Abderrazak, a coach at Al Arabi Football Club.

Another Qatari coach, Helmi Ghazouani, agreed. “This is a project that has a direct positive impact on the development of amateur football in Qatar. We can see that a great deal of attention is being given to grassroots football by local sporting authorities, clubs, schools and academies to support the local football scene.”

FIFA’s Grassroots initiative encourages girls and boys around the world to play and enjoy football. Between 2011 and 2014, some 300 grassroots courses and festivals were organised and 15,000 coaches were trained by FIFA in 143 countries.

Over the next four years, more than 350 special grassroots events are scheduled to take place. FIFA’s grassroots budget has increased from $8 million USD (2011-2014) to $10.5 million USD (2015-2018). A total of 60,000 youngsters have taken part in FIFA grassroots festivals to date, with 80,000 more expected by 2018.