Football’s global governing body — FIFA — have launched the ”Football for Schools” (F4S) mobile application in India.
Representatives from FIFA facilitated coach educators and PE Teachers from Karnataka’s districts and Taluks who passed the F4S training programme during a workshop at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in the outskirts of the city here on Friday.
The Football for Schools programme was launched in 2021 in India, and is a platform of conjuncture where football meets education and lifeskills development. The mobile application is free to use, and has over 100 sessions and basic lessons inside.
“India is the priority for FIFA President Gianni Infantino. We trained 300 coach educators in Pune, Sambalpur and Bengaluru this month,” saidFIFA Director of Football for Schools Fatimata Sidibe Sow.
“The objective is to implement the Football for school programme, a $100m programme, in 211 member associations. So far, we’ve implemented it in 94 associations. We want to develop the passion for football in kids from a very young age.”
FIFA Football for School consultant in India Amlan Kamal shared his views, “This programme is made for reaching the foundation and the roots of children aged four to fourteen, and they lie with the schools. In specificity to India, the ministry of education has placed a lot of focus on life skills. We work on a block and district level and cover a wide range of schools.
“With football for schools, the ministry of education, the AIFF, and institutions such as CBSE, KVS and SAI have come together to strengthen life skills learning in children through football and education. It’s a watershed moment in India.”
The FIFA Football for Schools programme will work hand-in-hand with talent identification. On the long-term benefits of the programme and the app, Sow added, "FIFA have a talent detection scheme to oversee all bases in the pyramid and be the link to the grassroots programs. In India, we’ve an agreement that within three years, FIFA football for schools will cover 140,000 schools across states."
"Clubs and academies can also benefit by using the app. With the FIFA President’s ‘Football for All’ vision, we can integrate all components. In this, we include competition among participating schools as part of our talent detection scheme and then we’ll start working on that."
"AIFF is working hand in hand with FIFA through every step of the journey. Next week, AIFF will visit two or three representatives from talent detection scheme," Sow signed off.
(Published 06 October 2023, 16:44 IST)