IN 2024 FIFA AND UEFA WILL CELEBRATE THE ANNIVERSARIES OF 120 AND 70 YEARS, RESPECTIVELY
The countdown to modern football should start from 1863, when a set of rules for this sport was first developed in England, and on October 26 of the same year the Football Association was founded. As for the present and near future of world and Russian football, a number of important dates and anniversaries can be noted here.
So, a little over a year ago (January 19, 2022) it was 110 years since the founding of the All-Russian Football Union, the progenitor of the RFU, and on October 24, 2022 it was possible to celebrate the 125th anniversary. of all Russian football – in 1897 on St. first official match.
For the foreseeable future, the following dates are important. In October 2023, modern world football will be 160 years old. In 2024, FIFA will celebrate its 120th anniversary on May 21 and UEFA will celebrate its 70th anniversary on June 15. Then, already in 2025, we will be able to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the first World Cup and 50 years since the establishment of the world famous FIFA football development programmes.
ROD INSTEAD OF FISH: FROM THE “FUTURE” TO THE “GOAL” AND FAP
These projects began in 1975. Then, at the initiative of FIFA President Joao Havelange and with the help of the world famous companies Adidas and Coca-Cola, they organized the international FUTURE program to improve the skills of coaches and some other specialists. of soccer. Thus, the practice was discontinued when for 70 years each national federation resolved independently and mainly at its expense the tasks of popularizing and developing the most popular game in the world.
And only with the tremendous growth of interest in football, thanks to the expansion of the geography of television broadcasts and the improvement of their attractiveness, the competent participation of reputable partners in advertising their products, the receipt of large funds from the sale of television rights. , it became possible to direct financial flows and material assistance from FIFA to each football federation in all parts of the world.
The current modern phase of football development under FIFA programs continued Havelange’s initiative and expanded the assistance provided to national associations. This work began in 1998-2000 with the adoption of two global and effective projects: the Goal program for the development and improvement of football infrastructure and the financial assistance program (FAP). In 2004, another FIFA project was added to them – the educational and technical programs “FUTURO-3”.
During the entire period of Sepp Blatter’s term as FIFA President or from the end of 2015 to the beginning of 2016, 736 facilities were built for the national associations under the Goal programme, including 271 training centres, 151 houses or offices of soccer, 162 standard soccer fields. , 36 soccer academies and another 116 infrastructure facilities.
Under the FAP programme, FIFA’s 211 member associations were allocated $33 billion, of which $773.6 million was for ongoing and operational needs, in particular, support for youth soccer, organization of men’s and women’s tournaments, maintenance office and other expenses. 4,989 projects were implemented in educational programs, including courses, seminars and other events for coaches, referees, all other football specialists, as well as projects for children’s, women’s and other types of football.
The main objective of all this work was to show the national football associations what can be done with the money earned through the game and how to effectively and efficiently raise the level of football and promote its development in their countries. Paraphrasing the Chinese philosopher Confucius, the hungry man was not given a fish, but a fishing rod with which he could catch his prey and eat.
As I wrote above, Joseph Blatter personally supervised and participated in the opening ceremony for most of the Goal program objects. Often his visits coincided with negotiations and meetings with heads of state and even with the awarding of the FIFA President with orders from some countries.
4 MILLION IN 16 YEARS – SOLID FINANCING FOR ZERO
Blatter repeatedly visited Russia, was and I hope will remain a great admirer of our country. Notably, each January he regularly attended the Commonwealth Cup, first in Moscow and then in St Petersburg, often together with Michel Platini. Here he not only participated in the opening ceremony of the tournament, but also held meetings and negotiations with the leaders of each football federation of the CIS and the Baltic countries, clarified in detail the needs and needs of him for the development of the soccer.
In early 2008, Blatter participated in the opening of the new RFU Football House. The implementation of this project was carried out with the help of the Gol program, according to which the RFU office received the necessary equipment, equipment and office furniture. A few years earlier, under the same program for the RFU, a full-size artificial football field of the latest generation (for those years) was laid at the Bronnitsy sports base. Here, during the 2018 World Cup, the Argentina team relied on Lionel Messi in the composition.
Within the framework of the third project “Target” of the RFU, financial support was received for the material maintenance of 10 regional coaches of Russian centers for the formation of the reserve and the development of youth football. The total amount of assistance provided by FIFA for these three projects was $1.2 million.
In addition to this, the special account of the RFU received an amount of 250 thousand dollars annually under the FAP program. Thus, over 16 years, the total amount of payments for current operating expenses is 4 million, now this amount may seem small, but at the beginning of the 21st century it seemed very solid. Construction of most projects under the Goal program was generally carried out by companies contracted by FIFA, without transferring funds directly to the associations. The allocation of other financial support was carefully monitored through detailed reports and regular audits.
CANDLELIGHT MEETINGS IN TBILISI
FIFA’s educational and technical program has been of great help to Russian football. Our football specialists participated not only in FIFA/RFU courses, seminars and programs that were held in Russia, but also outside our country, in particular, in the near abroad at the regional level.
In total, about a hundred such events were organized, which were held on a regular basis. I remember the following excellent FIFA courses and seminars for our region: in Riga on football marketing, for football coaches and instructors in Bishkek and Chisinau, for football referees, coaches and women’s football in Moscow, Chisinau and Minsk, for football coaches in Kiev, Tashkent and Minsk, football coaches and directors in Tashkent, for children’s and youth football coaches and directors in St. Petersburg and Ashgabat. With our help, regional children’s, youth and women’s football tournaments were organized in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Teams from Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan also came to visit. In addition, coaches and managers from India, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries attended his courses in Tashkent for specialists from Central, Central and South Asian football federations. We also often invite well-known Russian experts and coaches to conduct regional FIFA courses and similar courses for individual federations from the near abroad. In particular, the speakers at such events in Moscow, Ashgabat, Yerevan, Dushanbe, Bishkek and other cities were our highly qualified specialists Semyon Andreev, Oleg Lapshin, Nikolai Levnikov, Alexei Spirin, Andrey Budogossky.
To this must be added the courses organized in the 12 capitals of the CIS countries, including Russia, for employees of each national federation on long-term planning for the development of local football. These events were unique in almost all these countries from Minsk to Dushanbe, but I would like to especially highlight our planning courses in Tbilisi. At that time, there was a very difficult economic situation there, and our work was constantly complicated by a power failure in the building of the football federation. But the enthusiasm and love for football among the employees of the Georgia Federation was so great that we continued our meetings and discussions with the lamps turned off and the candles lit from morning until late at night throughout the entire working week. The reward for everything was the development of a 5-year plan for the development of football in Georgia, which was subsequently successfully implemented.
The program for the development of mass children’s football for boys and girls from 6 to 12 years old has become very popular in our region. Since 2009, children’s football courses, seminars and festivals have been repeatedly organized and successfully carried out in 12 countries. The activities of this project were very diverse. For example, in Turkmenistan we hold regional program events for four football federations from the Central Asian region, and in Tajikistan we hold courses for children’s football coaches, and then in another place a children’s festival with a tournament for 9-10 players. years.
In Russia, in 2011-12, all-Russian courses for coaches and teachers of children’s sports and general education schools were organized in Moscow (they were opened by RFU Vice-President Nikita Pavlovich Simonyan) and a regional seminar with a festival of children’s football in the city of Borisoglebsk, Voronezh region. The interest in them was colossal, and the results of the activities carried out gave a very high-quality result. As a result, in Moscow, Borisoglebsk and Yaroslavl, on the basis of decisions of local authorities, recommendations and FIFA methodological materials, for many years children’s, school and mass football projects for boys and girls from 6 to 17-18 years old. . has been developed. I believe that all this fruitful activity has created a foundation and allowed to implement the current school football project, which is now being implemented by the RFU together with the Russian Ministry of Education.