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Ghana to benefit from FIFA’s technical support for talent identification and development

Ghana has been selected as one of the countries in Africa to benefit from the FIFA Technical Development Scheme which is a technical project aimed at talent identification and development.

The West African giant is one of seven countries on the continent who will be supported with top coaches noted for talent identification and development to support their indigenous coaches.

This was made public by FIFA Chief for Global Football Development – Arsene Wenger -during the FIFA Football Summit 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Wenger also outlined FIFA’s aim to have a recognised elite talent development academy in each of the 211 FIFA Member Associations (MAs) by the end of 2027.

This, according to him, is to give every promising player a chance to flourish.

This has become possible because Ghana is one of the 176 MAs that have enrolled in the Technical Development Scheme introduced by FIFA in 2023.

FIFA has already released $28m to provide the necessary support to youth development initiatives globally.

“To provide a solid technical basis for the development of the FIFA Academies, FIFA has already deployed 24 coaches to support the identification of talented players, and six more will soon follow – namely in Liberia, Malawi, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Ghana,” a FIFA statement on their website read.

The coaches will be supported by full-time local coaches provided by the respective MAs in order to ensure the project’s legacy by establishing a coaching talent pool in the country.

Together, the coaches will implement the three key pillars of the initiative: find talented players, train them to give them the tools to best exploit their ability, and give them the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice by playing matches.

“We need specialised eyes to go in there and help to identify the talent because we want to give the importance to intelligence, to technique, to the technical level,” stated Mr Wenger, who added that a “minimum contact time” of five training sessions and one game per week for players aged between 12 and 15 years of age was required to enable talent to flourish.

“Basically, we want to develop a technically perfect player. That means no matter what, we want to make the ball your friend. No matter where it comes from, it is welcome.

“And that means we want to equip the players to deal with every situation they will face in football. And that is technique. We are firstly a technical sport – we never want to forget that.” Given the ideal age range of FIFA Academy attendees is 12 to 15 years old – “(because) at 11 or 12 years old, we are at a crossroads of all the ingredients of the development of a football player” – the teaching of academic subjects as well as football skills will also be an integral part of the curriculum.

“We want to combine instruction and education, because if you do not become a top-level football player you can still have a great life if you have the right education.

“And our responsibility goes beyond producing top-level players – this is as well something we want to embrace – it’s to make reliable people who can have a bright life after,” he said, noting that the financial situation of a young player’s family would be no handicap.

“We have many private academies in the world, but unfortunately many children with talent cannot have access to these private academies, because you have to pay to get in.

“We want, everywhere in the world, that every talent in the world can go and play football for free. And that’s why this is a very important criteria for us to get the FIFA Academy label to be free access for every single person.”

This program is the icing on the cake for the Ghana FA following their decision to start their own elite academy in Winkogo in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

With FIFA’s intention to build modern academies for Member Associations to accelerate the growth of talent identification and development, the Ghana FA stands to benefit from yet another academy to facilitate their own vision which aligns with the FIFA agenda.


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