FIFA brings football training to Ivory Coast classrooms

CHILDREN at primary schools in Abidjan traded classrooms for football fields last week to take part in a FIFA initiative to make the sport more accessible and contribute to education.

Ivory Coast is the first country in West Africa and the fifth on the continent to join FIFA’s “Football for Schools” (F4S) programme, launched in 2019 with pilot projects in Puerto Rico and Lebanon.

Children in yellow bibs and white jerseys practised passes and dribbled between cones under the guidance of FIFA instructors.

Fatimata Sow Sidibe Director of FIFA Football for Schools gives a symbolic ball to Yacine Idriss Diallo president of the Ivorian Football Federation during FIFA Football for schools program, which consists in training sports educators so they can provide quality training to young people and schoolchildren in Abidjan, Ivory Coast November 9, 2022. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

“When they play on football fields they banish violence, build leadership (skills) and communicate with others,” F4S manager Fatimata Sow said in Abidjan.

The programme is run in collaboration with the United Nations and aims to contribute to the schooling of around 700 million children by combining sports and education.

“The workshops… connect football with education. Life, football and technical skills are taught in a session,” said F4S instructor Antonio Buenano.

Antonio Buenano, a FIFA coordinator, gestures while he stands next to children during the FIFA Football for Schools programme, which consists of training sports educators to provide quality training to young people and schoolchildren in Abidjan, Ivory Coast November 9, 2022. REUTERS/Luc Gnago


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