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How Ghana FA Spent Millions of FIFA Funds on Football Development

A report by FIFA reveals the projects and outcomes of the programme in Ghana

by Motoni Olodun

Ghana is one of the African countries that has benefited from the FIFA Forward Programme, a global initiative to support football development and governance. According to a report by FIFA, the world football governing body, Ghana received $8.6 million from the program between 2016 and 2022, out of a total entitlement of $10.7 million.

The report reveals how the Ghana Football Association (GFA) used the funds to improve various aspects of the sport, such as infrastructure, equipment, administration, competitions, women’s football, capacity development, and national teams. Some of the specific projects funded by the program include:

  • Building an artificial pitch at Winkogo, near Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region, as the first phase of a planned regional technical center.
  • Providing computers and internet connectivity to all Premier, Division One, and Women’s Premier League clubs, as well as Regional Football Associations (RFAs).
  • Training staff and stakeholders on the use of FIFA Connect, a system for registering players, and FIFA Competition Management System (CMS), a tool for managing competitions.
  • Developing a national philosophy for the growth of men’s and women’s football, coach education, and technical management, with the help of an experienced foreign technical director.
  • Supporting the participation of national teams in various international tournaments, such as the Africa Cup of Nations, the World Cup qualifiers, and the Women’s U-17 World Cup.

The FIFA Forward Programme was launched in 2016 by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, with the aim of providing tailor-made support for football development in each of the 211 member associations and six confederations. The program offers financial, technical, and administrative assistance, as well as monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, to ensure accountability and transparency.

The report states that between 2016 and 2022, FIFA made approximately $2.8 billion available to the member associations, confederations, and regional associations, and funded more than 1,600 specific projects with a long-term impact on football development. Some of the outcomes of the program include:

  • Laying 577 new pitches and renovating 208 existing ones, providing more than 300,000 women and men with new opportunities to play football.
  • Establishing 208 new competitions, including 113 for women and girls, and 95 for youth and grassroots.
  • Enhancing the governance and administration of 211 member associations and six confederations, through online courses, workshops, and seminars.
  • Improving the security and safety of football events, through the implementation of the FIFA Safety and Security Regulations and the deployment of security officers.
  • Promoting social responsibility and sustainability, through the support of 211 Football for Hope projects and the adoption of the FIFA Human Rights Policy.

From 2023, the FIFA Forward Programme will enter its third phase, with an increased budget of up to $8 million per four-year cycle for each member association, and additional funding for confederations and regional associations. The program will also introduce new categories of support, such as women’s football, digital transformation, and innovation.

Ghana, which is one of the most successful football nations in Africa, with four Africa Cup of Nations titles and three World Cup appearances, will continue to benefit from the FIFA Forward Programme, as it seeks to achieve its vision of becoming a dominant force in global football.

Source: MyJoyOnline

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