Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grassroots by FIFA

FIFA has a lot of developmental programmes for poor nations. Some money has been given for these noble projects. I totally abhor the idea of the monies being banked into public association coffers as the money does not come out.

African football associations have check valve or one-way valve bank accounts. It means whatever goes in does not come out. Worse, when an audit comes, the power struggles will have brought in new faces who do not know the money came in to start with. It starts all over again.

All FIFA funded projects should be treated as a business venture by both FIFA and resource persons. Resource persons would be ordinary citizens equiped to do football the professional way. They would be accountable for every cent received and prosecuted for embezzlement by the judiciary of the territory in which the projects are carried out.

Maybe Europe, Asia and the Americas do not need this arrangement. On the contrary, Africa can not survive the status quo. The dark continent would have been far in terms of football success. Maybe it is not necessary for Africa to be a power house.

One project funded by FIFA is called Grassroots. It lists the following as its aims and objectives. It is not clear the amount of funds available, which is usually good news for corrupt officials.
  • To introduce boys and girls (6-12 yrs) to football at a grassroots level

  • To promote the concept of grassroots football

  • To develop grassroots football activities

  • To increase participation in grassroots football

  • To upgrade training and match facilities

  • To train instructors (including women) as coaches/educators

  • To encourage parents and volunteers to take part

  • To forge bonds and create links with all stakeholders

  • To create a “grassroots development structure”

  • To increase visibility and attract interest from the general public

  • To identify sponsors, events, representatives (key figures)


    A successful player development costs USD5000,00 - USD10000 per player per year. If I have an academy of 30 players, I would need USD300000,00 annually. It takes 5-7 years to fully develop a player. It gives one a total of USD2.1 million in seven years. It's peanuts for FIFA.