FIFA for teenage soccer promotion
FIFA is expected to embark on grassroots soccer promotion in Tanzania beginning in March next year, the federation’s development director for Southern Africa Ashford Mamelodi declared in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.
Mamelodi said the programme targets soccer players with age range between six and 12. Mamelodi said an agreement has already been reached between the Government of Tanzania through the ministry of information, culture and sports and the football federation, TFF.
Once the programme is implemented, children of either sex would be coached on how to play football at their school premises using local coaches.
Besides learning on how to play soccer, children would also be imparted with cultural values that includes etiquettes on respect to each other, maintaining discipline, team work and solidarity.
To begin with, the programme would take off in Dar es Salaam before spreading to the rest of the regions.
It is anticipated that in five years time, the country will breed in excess of 300 competent footballers while building an inventory for the national team.
Mamelodi said the dream of attaining success at international stage might not be realised if proper planning is not set up.
The grassroots promotion is the only option should Tanzania need to attain international excellence through football.
TFF president Leodegar Tenga said that the project has come at the right time as teenage players would be useful to gradually replenish the ageing national team players.
Most of players featuring for the national team are now spotted through the premier soccer league, first division, Taifa Cup and under-17 tournaments such as Copa Coca-Cola.
Mamelodi confirmed that the grassroots soccer promotion will be highly supported by FIFA through providing facilities and technical support to the football federation.
The programme has already got underway in China and Mauritius as a pilot project. So far the outcome has been highly encouraging enough to convince FIFA officials to widen its scope in the rest of the globe.