Establishing links with governments
What link with the government?
No government can neglect sport and the benefits that it can bring to the population. Football is a vehicle for the promotion of health, education, team spirit and fair play. These concepts are also central to national government objectives and are values upheld by modern societies. The objectives of a grassroots programme are similar to values promoted by many countries:
- Offering the means to practise sport everywhere, in the street, at schools, in clubs, etc. Football should be accessible to all without reference to gender, race or location.
- Allowing children to play together, with football facilitating communication and exchanges.
- Sport is good for health, promoting as it does strong messages such as well-being, a balanced life and feeling good physically.
- Sport can be a tool for education by teaching observance of the Laws of the Game, the practice of exercises and codified play, respect for opponents and partners, the desire to be the best, pushing oneself beyond one’s limits, the joy of winning and coping with the distress of losing, etc.
- Sport is part of life, associated with fun, pleasure and emotion.
Why is the relationship with governments important?
Football is usually practised in clubs. The degree of structure offered by these clubs depends on the economic situation of the country and the development of football (popularity, funding, human resources, volunteers, goodwill and the association’s structures).
Football is not only practised within clubs, however, as football is universal and is played everywhere. The recent media coverage of street football and the development of futsal, sometimes associated with the neighbourhoods of major cities, remind us that football is played everywhere that young people have the freedom to express themselves and the means to buy or make a ball.
Schools are an important breeding ground for footballers. The sport is a taught subject in the majority of educational systems.
For these reasons, it can be seen that sport, and particularly football, forms a natural part of governmental programmes, for example:
- The Ministry of Education may promote football programmes in school curricula. This is reinforced by exchanges and matches between classes and different educational establishments. The ministry may even organise national football days, for example.
- The Ministry of Youth and Sport facilitates access to national sports structures and promotes programmes for youngsters (children’s day, sports festivals, etc.).
- The Ministry of Health associates the practice of football with greater well-being, a balanced life, education on nutrition and strong messages against using drugs and other harmful substances, etc.
- Urban policy and the opening up of rural areas is encouraged by organising or adapting sports festivals, employing coach-educators, providing opportunities for youngsters to meet, organising recreational days, etc.
- The situation of women: encouraging the practice of football by both sexes and mixed football for young children.