The systematic promotion of grassroots football has always been one of FIFA‘s priorities. FIFA’s main objective for its grassroots football programme is to bring football to as many people as possible, thus addressing one of FIFA’s missions: “to develop the game”.
I am delighted that grassroots football has progressed so much around the world in recent years, regardless of political, religious and cultural environments. Grassroots football is genuinely popular in our societies and occupies a proud position in the world of sport. Determination and initiative are the driving forces of the development of football around the world.
The promotion and development of grassroots football does not just mean financial assistance; it also involves a much wider commitment to setting up the necessary infrastructures to allow member associations, coaches and participants to take an active role in football. Our grassroots programme and the activities that it offers have greatly increased the opportunities to play football all around the world.
Interacting, sharing, playing and meeting others – these are all benefits that we promote in grassroots football, while, of course, encouraging enjoyment on the pitch. For some, grassroots football is a recreational activity. For others, it is the practice of football in a club or school environment, with regular training and matches, that is important.
It is for these reasons that I always encourage children to play football, whatever their level. Playing improves children’s techniques and the intelligence of their game and boosts enthusiasm. Football also promotes team spirit and fair play. In a nutshell, football is a school of life.
I am sure that this manual will be an excellent tool for those who want to become involved in grassroots football. The initial beneficiaries will be children, but I believe that the manual will also serve as an first-rate guide for the future development of all aspects of grassroots football.
In regard to football and youth, I hope that all your work is productive and your exchanges are fruitful. I would like to thank you in advance for your contribution to the development of football and to building a better future.
For the game. For the world.