Our Goal Is To Create The Next Kudus And Tony Baffoe And Dede Ayew Lay Out The FIFA Talent Development Scheme Strategy

The FIFA Talent Development Scheme (TDS) has been thoroughly explained by Ghanaian football star Tony Baffoe, who also outlines the program’s goals and the enormous advantages it will have for the game worldwide.

Speaking to media on Thursday, June 20, 2024, during the ongoing TDS Knowledge Exchange Program in Accra, Tony Baffoe described the TDS as a cutting-edge FIFA project that focuses on grassroots football development.

According to Tony Baffoe, the TDS is a medium- to long-term strategic plan that will directly involve FIFA in identifying, developing, and preparing football talent.

Explaining the model of the TDS, Tony Baffoe stated that while FIFA’s ultimate goal is to see all federations establish academies and centers of soccer excellence, FIFA will not oppose a Member Association that comes up with a different plan that ultimately leads to building a strong national team. He revealed that the implementation of the policy will be country-specific, with Member Associations tailoring their plans to the specific needs of their countries while ensuring that the timelines of the strategic plan, based on which FIFA released the funding, are followed.

We are looking for a long-term strategic plan, and once it is created, you should implement a schedule and road map for accomplishing the strategy and determining your impact. I think that throughout the days we’ve been here, you witnessed the result as well. However, it also aided in strengthening the technical department’s and the Ghana Football Association’s personnel. Thus, among others, the Technical Director oversees women’s football, has an academy director, a high-performance manager, and so forth,” he stated.

In reference to Ghana specifically, Tony Baffoe clarified that the Ghana Football Association notified FIFA of its intention to open academies in each of the sixteen districts of the nation in addition to requesting assistance for its academy in the Upper East Region.

“It’s always based on the project for which they applied. They applied for a project in the Upper East for the time being, but after talking with the technical department, it became clear that the intention was to establish academies in other areas. It is better for the nation if there are more federation centers and academies where players may congregate and train. After that, a fairly solid foundation is built.

“In the past, this was our strength. We had colts football, interschool competitions, and more. Thus, in my opinion, it’s critical to lay the groundwork for future Ayews, Kuduses, etc.,” he continued.

FIFA’s goal in introducing the Talent Development Scheme is to make sure that talent is distributed fairly throughout the world and to improve competition between national teams, according to Ulf Schott, head of FIFA TDS.

The goal is to boost national team competition and assist national associations in realizing their maximum potential. By increasing each national team’s level of competition, this plan will make the World Cup and other competitions more engaging and competitive. FIFA is eager to get onto the field. He clarified, “We are here to support member associations in their collaborative efforts to establish a comprehensive and all-encompassing approach to football development.

Concerning the FIFA Talent Development Scheme

Arsène Wenger, the Chief of FIFA’s Global Football Development, introduced the Talent Development Scheme (TDS) initiative in 2023, and it has revolutionized the way football is developed. Giving every talent an opportunity is one of FIFA’s main goals. One of the keys to accomplishing that goal is the inauguration of the FIFA Talent Development Scheme, according to FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

FIFA’s long-term commitment to global talent development is motivating TDS to help improve the caliber of men’s and women’s national team football worldwide. The program’s four solid pillars are knowledge exchange, money, expertise, and training and education.

FIFA will provide USD 200 million in funds for the operational lifecycle of 2023–2026 to all member associations taking part in the TDS.

The TDS’s primary goals are to establish centers of excellence or academies in each of its member associations by 2026, as well as to make investments in national teams, talent scouting, top coaches, and organized events. Through its Academies Program, FIFA intends to guarantee that, by 2027, 75 of its member associations will have at least one high-performance academy or center of excellence operational.

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