Mon, May


T&T is one of various Caribbean countries that stand to benefit from the FIFA Technical Experts Workshop which took place in Doha, Qatar over the past few days, bringing together 75 FIFA experts from 45 different countries.

T&TFA Technical Director Anton Corneal, also a FIFA instructor, was invited to the seminar which showcased part of FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s “FIFA 2.0 strategy” designed to further develop the game, protect its integrity and ensure it speeds to all four corners of the globe.

Corneal, who is currently overseeing the TTFA/Nu Iron Nationwide Primary Schools initiative which sees close to 2,000 students being exposed to the basics of the game in the various local districts every Wednesday, took part in the workshop which focused on education and further training for technical directors and for men and women national team coaches as well as women’s football development and the promotion of the game at youth and grass roots level.

“It is very important for us to get closer to the national associations, to help them achieve more autonomy and thus give our projects more sustainability,” said Jurg Nepfer, FIFA’s head of technical development services. “In this context, working with the confederations, who are also represented here by their technical directors, is incredibly important. Each national association has its own special challenges to deal with, and we intend to provide tailored programmes to meet these various needs,” Nepfer added.

Corneal expanded on the benefit of such an exercise, saying, “What this gathering offered us was the opportunity to meet and discuss and learn more about what each of us, each of the associations are doing within their own organisations to improve the game and to utilise resources on a common ground with one thing in mind, making the game greater. It’s all about exchanging ideas and it falls right into what we are trying to achieve with our grass roots and Primary Schools programme at home. What we did ten or twenty years ago might have brought success then and while we are not casting away everything, there are simply some things that will not work today in terms of bringing that success, hence new approaches and methods are being adopted now. It’s a very exciting period for the development of the game and one that we as a nation should be eager to be part of and involved in with the constant changes and development taking place,” Corneal added.

According to FIFA, the recent workshop was a step towards extending the solid network of experts in various areas, and thus helping to implement FIFA’s goals, programmes and philosophies within the national associations around the world, whilst growing the game in the coming years in terms of quality and quantity.

The TTFA, meantime, will continue its schedule of coach education programmes this year with C and B License coaching courses. The work also continues on the construction of the National Technical and Training Centre in Couva which hopefully will afford a better, more work friendly environment for all involved in the game in T&T. Not to forget, the coming of the new Nations League later this year which CONCACAF officials who were here last month, promised will be a hell of an exciting project for countries like T&T. Qualification for the Boys Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups also take place in May and November, while the Senior Women’s World Cup campaign commences in May this year.