Meeting Of The World’s Elite Coaches In Madrid
In September, FIFA’s top men’s and women’s coaching and referee instructors worldwide gathered in the Spanish football association’s (RFEF) technical centre in Madrid- The men’s coaching instructors were first up. They were welcomed by two FiFA Vice-Presidents, Angel Villar Llona (UEFA Vice-President and President of the Spanish football association) and Reynald Temarii (President of the OFC and Chairman of the FIFA Technical and Development Committee). The objectives of the seminar were then highlighted: exchange of experiences, evaluation of potential instructors, and the further education of future instructors. FIFA’s Technical Director Jean-Michel Benezet added, “The objective of the men’s seminar is simple because we have a lot of new programmes we would like to introduce in 2009.”
The seminar, which was attended by the technical directors of three confederations (AFC, CAF, OFC), also featured a presentation of confederation coaching licenses (AFC and CAF). Abdel Monem Hussein, CAF’s technical director, explained: “This meeting made us aware of the value of the work of the instructors worldwide and also of FIFA’s support for the confederations.”
Belhassen Ma louche, a FIFA instructor and consultant from Tunisia, was impressed when listening to a presentation on how Spanish national teams were prepared. “Particularly interesting were their comments on the dynamics between players and coaches, the system of selection, and their long-term planning,” he noted. “Technique, personality and speed are the crux for them. I saw Spain play in Canada at the FIFA U-20 World Cup and they played the same way as the senior national team -to which players from that team have indeed graduated.”
The objectives of the coaching instructors’ seminar for women’s football were similar: to evaluate potential new instructors, provide information on FIFA’s new philosophy for the development of women’s football through the introduction of new programmes, and offer an opportunity for the exchange of experiences and opinions.
Hasan Al Sabah, AFC Assistant General Secretary and Director of Education, saw great benefit for the Asian region in having the region’s instructors in attendance at the seminar, in particular for the women’s game, where there has been considerable progress and recent success (including Korea DPR winning the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2006).
New FIFA women’s football instructor and current New Zealand women’s coach John Herdman commented: “It was a perfect setting for FIFA instructors. Coaches have aspirations to come and work with the best football instructors in women’s football, and then to also be presented with one of the best football environments in the world was magnificent.”
The new philosophy for FIFA technical programmes details that FIFA will be a role model in all football matters, complement the confederations’ programmes and respond to the technical needs of member associations.
This also applied to the third and final three-day instructor seminar for referees. From 12-14 September, 14 new FIFA RAP (Referee Assistance Programme) instructors as well as three female FIFA instructors and ten Refereeing Development Officers (RDOs) gathered in Madrid for the seminar, which had two main objectives. Benezet summed them up: “RAP (Referee Assistance Programme) is a new FIFA programme with two parts. The first objective was to increase the standard of referees for future international competitions, in particular for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The second part was to establish a new system for referees, which in the future is to be based on scouting and education.”
A methodological approach is being used to meet the first objective of in¬creasing the quality of refereeing ins¬tructors. Spanish professor Guillermo Ballenato delivered a six-hour lecture on methodology that reinforced the combination of teaching and learning principles with practical activities. The presentation was very well received by the participants.
Another key objective of the seminar was to obtain uniformity in the interpretation of the Laws of the Game and in the analysis of match situations. A considerable number of video clips were examined by the group in order to establish the criteria for analysing situations that occur during a match.
Special meetings were also held with the new RDOs in order to provide guidelines on how to help and support the member associations to develop refereeing and organise activities in their respective regions. Another focus was the organisation of refereeing at member association level. Benezet concluded, “We hope this seminar will be, like all of our initiatives, of huge benefit to the development of the game at all levels.”