Wenger launches Fifa scheme to ensure 'every talent gets a chance'

Wenger was appointed as Fifa's Head of Global Football Development in November 2019

Wenger was appointed as Fifa's Head of Global Football Development in November 2019

ARSENE WENGER, Fifa’s new Head of Global Football Development, has launched a Talent Development Programme designed to close the gap between Europe and the rest of the world.

Speaking at a five-day Fifa Technical Development Workshop in Doha, Wenger said: “The difference in the level of play between Europe and the rest of the world has become bigger.

“In many countries, the focus of the association is mainly on the senior national team, but this national team is always the consequence of football development across the country. We need more youth competitions to identify talent, offer them a pathway and develop coaching.”

Europe provided all four semi-finalists at the 2018 World Cup, European teams have won the last four editions of the men’s Under-20 World Cup, European clubs have won 12 of the last 13 Club World Cup tournaments, and seven of the quarter-finalists at the 2019 Women’s World Cup were from Europe.

Fifa’s Talent Development Programme will take a three-pronged approach:

  • From this year, all 211 member associations will be entitled to a Fifa assessment of their “high-performance ecosystem” in both men’s and women’s football, including all national teams, domestic leagues, scouting projects and Academies.
  • A report will be produced benchmarking this “technical ecosystem” against global standards.
  • Based on the reports, Fifa will implement tailor-made technical programmes in co-operation with the member associations from 2021.

“We are launching the Fifa Talent Development Programme to ensure that every talent gets a chance,” Wenger, who took up his new role in November, said.

“That goal is very ambitious but we are highly motivated and focused. Nowadays, information can be made available and used all over the world within seconds. It’s a huge chance.

“Sustainable development is a long-term approach and requires dedication, confidence and patience. Within the next six to eight months, we will have a good overview of what is needed everywhere in both men’s and women’s football, and then we will respond both online and offline with a team of experts to help develop football to the highest level and to have a lasting impact.”

Former England manager Steve McClaren, who was part of the Workshop, added: “Developing talent is based on three key things: finding the talent, creating an environment in which the footballer can flourish and, most importantly, coaching.

“With the Fifa Talent Development Programme, we will know exactly what each country is doing in terms of developing their players. Research, yes. Analysis, yes. Results, of course. And then feeding back to the nations to help them grow and improve their level of play.”

Further pillars of Fifa’s technical development programme are:

1) Development of home-grown coach-educators through:

Regional coach-educator courses

Member associations’ coach-educator courses

individual mentorship

2) Development of technical directors through:

Courses and workshops

Individual mentorship

3) Additional tailor-made courses for:

Goalkeeping coaches

Futsal and beach soccer

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