FIFA gives backing to Benin’s school football championship

  • An agreement on the development of school football in Benin was signed in 2020

  • Since then, several key initiatives have been launched

  • Training programmes for referees, coaches and instructors are on the agenda

In the early stages of 2021, several projects related to school football were implemented with great success in Benin. As part of its agreement with the Government of Benin and the Beninese Football Association (FBF), FIFA has opted for a panoramic approach to provide support and help young people in Benin to shine through the country’s educational and sport system.

A number of initiatives have been put in place, namely:

  • A training programme for young referees

  • Instructor training

  • Ongoing training for coaches

As part of this work at the beginning of January, equipment destined for schools was also delivered in person by a special FIFA delegation, as the governing body had promised. In addition, the project stakeholders on site were able to begin discussions about receiving assistance in setting up a school championship and, more specifically, in the organising of a final tournament earmarked for July 2021.

Training programme for young referees

Aimed at pinpointing the most promising young referees, the training programme also provided participants with the opportunity to develop their abilities in order to strengthen and standardise their interpretation of the Laws of the Game, enabling them to better understand key refereeing concepts. These young referees will be called upon to officiate at school matches once the championship is established.

Other support programmes, for young reporters or young first aid providers, for example, are under discussion. Their overriding aim will be to ensure that the school league has an impact on a large number of young people, by giving them the chance, through football, to train for certain sport-related professions.

Ongoing training for coaches

This ongoing training has allowed local coaches to benefit from the know-how of youth training professionals by giving them the necessary educational tools so that they can carry out their duties in the most effective manner possible. Attendees took part in the course under the watchful eye of the French Football Federation (FFF). Topics covered included: knowledge of the game, training procedures, motor skills, and psychological, tactical, technical and physical approaches, as well as coaching and video sessions.

This agreement is exemplary, because it acknowledges the major role that sport plays in society, and it shows how governments and sporting bodies can work hand-in-hand on behalf of young people. We are all fully aware that playing football at school ...

FIFA Deputy Secretary General Alasdair Bell following the signing of the agreement one year ago

Instructor training

Parallel training was also delivered to instructors in the form of ‘train the trainer’ sessions, to enable them to take over and provide ongoing training to instructors across all of Benin’s regions, with the aim of having an impact on as many school coaches as possible.

In summary, these various initiatives represent a successful implementation of the agreement concluded between FIFA, the Government of Benin and the Beninese FA.

Accord entre la FIFA et le Benin