Grassroots in Ecuador take giant leap to prepare for the next generation

  • The G100 is first National Base Football competition organised by the FEF

  • 38 venues hosted related competitions, 4,382 children participated in new project

  • More than 150 girls registered in U-7, U-9 and U-11 categories.

Since February 2018, the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF), using the support of the FIFA Forward Development programme, gave shape to the G100 Project, an emblematic initiative focused on the development of grassroots football for U-7, U-9 and U-11 categories.

The G100 project consisted of three major phases, the first being the organisational one, where minimum technical and administrative requirements were established, receiving more than 350 applications for participation from football academies across the 24 provinces of the country. Once the evaluation process was completed, the 100 schools with the highest rating were invited to participate in the G100 Project. In the second phase, emphasis was placed on the training of 300 responsible coaches in each category (U-7, U-9 and U-11). The specialised G100 technical representatives toured the country for on-site training sessions. Additionally, thematic seminars were held in Guayaquil and Quito for referees, coaches and members of the Ecuadorian Football Federation. In the third phase of the project, sports equipment was delivered and participation in competitions was secured.

Involved in this project from the start, Javier Gonzalez, Project Coordinator of FIFA Forward Regional Office in Asuncion, noted, "it is important to highlight the social aspect of this project where inclusion and respect were fundamental values. Thanks to the support of the FIFA Forward Programme, the Ecuadorian Football Federation managed to integrate many areas of the country that were not previously taken into account."

Another outstanding achievement was the first ever participation of the teams from the Galapagos Island who were able to take part to their first national competition.

Gonzalez also highlighted the importance of girls’ participation in the project.

"In a period of seven months, more than 1,100 matches were played in 38 venues in Ecuador. Counting the participation of more than 600 girls, this gives opportunity for the identification and monitoring of talents in early ages. The competitions were also key to demonstrate the skills acquired during the 50 average hours of training received."

The closing of the first edition of the G100 project was carried out in January 2019 at the headquarters of the FEF, in the presence of its members and the National Coach Hernan Darío Gomez, FIFA staff and the expresident of the member association, Carlos Villacis Naranjo. During the event, he reminded the audience: “the G100 represents an emblematic project of the FEF, although not all children become professional players, we are committed to encourage them to become good citizens for our society as a whole through football."

The Director of Development of the FEF, Fernando Bocca, who was attending the event as well, expressed his emotion.

"This day is a dream come true, the culture of the Ecuadorian children’s game is finally taking place. With this project, we certify the first football academies that have the mission to pave the way to the football we want to play in the near future."

FIFA Forward, supporting FEF in infrastructure

As another step towards the professionalisation of the FEF, the member association inaugurated last week another project involving the construction of their new 'Casa de la Seleccion' to host the national teams. The new premises will be located in Guayas, a small town only 40 minutes away from Guayaquil. Thanks to the support of the FIFA Forward programme, football is reaching another level in the South American country.