FIFA Foundation

Football for Schools

Football for Schools (F4S) is an ambitious programme launched by FIFA, in collaboration with UNESCO, that aims to contribute to the education, development and empowerment of around 700 million children. It seeks to make football more accessible to both boys and girls around the world by incorporating football activities into the education system, in partnership with relevant authorities and stakeholders. The programme has been designed to build targeted life skills and competencies through football and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other priorities.

The F4S programme is aligned to global sport, education, and health policies, including the Kazan Action Plan, the Education 2030: Incheon Declaration and Framework of Action, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). The F4S programme can be used by member states and football associations to further national development priorities.

The programme will include:

  • A free digital application (Football for Schools) accessible via Google Play or the App Store;

  • An online learning platform with relevant content for programme stakeholders -> access it here

  • The provision of equipment – including Adidas footballs – that will be distributed to schools;

  • A once-off USD 50.000 payment to member associations (MAs) to manage the programme.

Objectives of the Football for Schools programme

The F4S programme seeks to achieve four key outcomes:

  • Empower learners (boys and girls) with valuable life skills and competencies;

  • Empower and capacitate coach-educators to deliver sport and life skills activities;

  • Build capacity of stakeholders (schools, member associations and public authorities) to deliver life skills through football; and

  • Strengthen cooperation between governments, member associations and participating schools, enabling partnerships, alliances and intersectoral collaboration.

The F4S programme is guided by a results-based management framework and theory of change which assumes that developing intrapersonal, interpersonal and cognitive skills among learners, alongside gains in knowledge and positive attitudes, will help them develop life skills or competencies. If this is done within an enabling, inclusive and caring environment that promotes individual learning and development with a combination of football and life skills, the programme may be able to contribute to individual and community change and subsequently to identified SDGs.

Project timeline

The F4S programme was launched in mid-2019 with pilot projects in Puerto Rico and Lebanon. The F4S programme will be re-launched in other regions starting in 2021 and run until 2022 at least. A more detailed draft timeline, subject to change, will be circulated in due course.

Why schools?

Schools remain the most effective and efficient avenue in which to engage young people in sport. While FIFA, and its member associations, provide support to countless local associations and clubs that compete in leagues, FIFA, in collaboration with UNESCO, are committed to ensuring children at school receive opportunities. This is especially important in countries which do not have an effective club structure.

The F4S project aims to ensure that football is accessible to all learners, without discrimination. Anyone who wants to play football must know that it is possible to do so through their school or community, using the facilities available in the country. While the main remit of this project is to support the provision of football coaching and equipment to schools, FIFA encourages its member associations and in-country partners to recognise the importance of engaging out-of-school youth.

Given that many schools lack equipment and qualified personnel to deliver football activities, FIFA will provide equipment (footballs) through its member associations as well as this online learning platform and a mobile application that provides easy to use content for training sessions. It is hoped that the platform will capacitate educators, coaches and parents, to better support, deliver and manage F4S activities in their respective schools and communities.

The F4S programme can enable schools to tackle a range of social issues, while providing an attractive vehicle in which to engage and educate learners, and even motivate educators too!

The F4S programme is not designed to detract from teaching or classroom time and is in fact intended to complement the efforts of educators and advance education outcomes, thus assisting governments. Football can play a vital role in the education system and function as a ‘school for life’.

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