The FIFA Youth Football Survey was conducted in 2016 with the aim of gathering information about youth football globally. It was set up in order to evaluate the support that will be required in the future and to collate feedback in order to adapt our services accordingly. The survey collected information in nine key areas related to youth football, including youth football competitions, governance and perception of youth football and was analysed by CIES.

The survey was answered by 178 FIFA member associations (MAs), which amounts to a response rate of almost 85 per cent. This response rate has enabled FIFA to draw conclusions and provide recommendations which can be applied across all confederations depending on the specific needs in the different regions. The survey closed in June 2016.

Some of the main findings are:

  • There are gaps between national youth leagues and national youth teams (MAs having national teams but not necessarily national youth leagues)
  • The median number of staff dedicated to youth football per MA is five
  • FIFA is mentioned most by member associations in terms of “stakeholder support” for youth football
  • In 78.8 per cent of MAs, youth football benefits from FIFA-funded infrastructure
  • 13.2 per cent of the overall budget of MAs is invested in youth football
  • Investment is perceived as the most important need for youth football development
  • Youth football is perceived as an attractive area of investment in only 20.8 per cent (male) and 12.4 per cent (female) of MAs

Based on these findings, FIFA will be able to better analyse and assist youth football development worldwide and the member associations in setting benchmarks for their youth development programmes.

In accordance with the results of this survey, FIFA will, through its development programme FORWARD and in line with two of the main objectives of FIFA 2.0, continue to grow the game by making football more accessible to girls and boys all over the world and by providing pathways for young players with tailor-made support for the development of youth football on all continents.