The month of September was marked by a vast array of football development initiatives across the globe, with FIFA's various programmes offering new hope to member associations keen to bolster their expertise and help the sport grow within their borders.
In the latest of our monthly round-ups, FIFA.com shines a light on the main events and activities undertaken by FIFA to keep you abreast of development efforts around the world.
Courses and Grassroots
Mongolia, Ulan Bator, 28 August-27 September: A Grassroots Festival was organised in the heart of the Mongolian capital, with FIFA instructors honing the talent of more than 200 children.
China PR, 9-15 September: Chinese instructors got to experience the benefits of a FIFA course and are now touring the country passing on their knowledge until the end of the year.
Burundi, 10-14 September: Three separate Grassroots Festivals were held in different refugee camps across the country.
Instructors from Laos (1 September) and India (24-29 September) took a FIFA FUTURO III course, held in association with the AFC.
Goal and PERFORMANCE Programmes
The marketing and communication departments of the associations in Burundi, Niger and Burkina Faso were given a major boost thanks to FIFA's PERFORMANCE programme.
Two Goal projects were completed, with a new association headquarters being built in Guinea and an artificial pitch laid down in Mauritius.
Beach soccer and futsal
Between 1 and 3 September, Switzerland's national beach soccer team coach Angelo Schirinzi focused his efforts on improving the discipline in Lithuania by advising on a whole range of methods geared to its promotion.
A futsal Grassroots Festival was held for 250 children in Korat, Thailand, from 26 to 30 September. In conjunction with the event, Switzerland's Samuel Schweingruber and Tsang Wai-Chung of Hong Kong organised a course for 25 locals.
Also in Korat, a regional futsal seminar was organised from 28 to 30 September to promote the discipline in South-east Asia. It was attended by 18 technical directors and officials from a number of different member associations.
Denmark was the place to be on 22 September as FIFA helped the local authorities host a seminar dedicated to futsal development, with FIFA instructor Graeme Dell sharing his expertise.
In Fukushima, Japan, on 8 September, FIFA and the Japan Football Association (JFA) marked the final day of action at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup by organising the last of 20 Live Your Goals festivals. Designed to promote women's football, the events were attended by more than 1,500 young players overall.
Around 600 girls also got to take part in a series of Live Your Goals festivals held in Azerbaijan over the last few months, with events taking place in Zagatala, Quba, Sheki and Masalli.
France tasted victory in the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup final in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 13 October, as they downed Korea DPR 7-6 on penalties at the end of a 1-1 draw. The win represented the first time a European contender has ever triumphed in the competition.
Association of the month
Cape Verde Islands can look forward to rubbing their shoulders with the African elite after capping their incredible rise by booking a first ever place at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. A surging force over the last four years – and now proudly positioned 51st in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – the Blue Sharks squeezed past Cameroon to seal their spot.
The stat 600 – The impressive number of Goal projects implemented in 199 member associations, representing a total investment of USD 250m by FIFA.
What they said
"You can't imagine what this means to me. It’s incredible to be here in Mumbai running this team, and helping these kids and Indian football as a whole to progress. Everywhere I’ve been, I try to contribute to football development and always give 100 per cent – that’s my goal," Sajide Dar, coach of the Navi Mumbai regional academy in India.
"Football brings entertainment as well as exercise, and it also brings people together. It's an excellent ice-breaker when you meet new people. I have to thank FIFA for its support, which means a lot to us. FIFA's vision is a fantastic one, and means that all countries, no matter their size, get to play together. Football has done so much for the international exposure of the Faroe Islands," Kaj Leo Johannesen, Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands.