Schaefer's vision for closer working partnerships with FIFA, member associations


Sunday, June 22, 2014

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FIFA has to face major criticisms these days. I'm sure not even the highest FIFA executives would deny that; at times, though it is not deserved.

To criticise FIFA these days seems easy based on all that's happening, but the issues are a bit more complicated than what some want us to believe.

The DFB (German Football Association) treasurer Reinhard Grindel, for example, asked FIFA to give more money to the national football federations and find more transparency in financial issues in general.

Grindel's cry, to me, seems quite appropriate.

And as a matter of course in the overall development scheme, we all know it is necessary to invest in the promotion of young players, and even at this level, I believe that transparency and trust are key components.

But some seem to forget that FIFA is a global organisation that has to deal with an enormous bandwidth of serious issues, some of them complex and with far-reaching effects.

Even with the business of football as its primary focus, FIFA has to address matters of a political and social nature.

Believe it or not, FIFA has already invested an impressive amount of money in the promotion of talents and development of youth work.

FIFA also offers help all over the world, in many different ways, starting from support with scouting and training, to ideas about close ties between education and sport.

Unfortunately, there are more than a few nations that are not willing or able to take the chance, accept the help, change their ways for the better, or simply use the money for its intended purpose.

To blame FIFA for that seems a bit unreasonable. But it is understandable that unpleasant truths are harder to address
and discuss.

Sometimes it seems difficult for Europeans to understand the complexities and difficulties a global organisation has to face. Our world, the football world, is incredibly complex and diverse.

I'm happy that I had the opportunity to work in so many different countries.

This experience enriched my life, but I learned that we, as a football family, undoubtedly, have to face serious, unpleasant and very tricky problems.

Extremely well-developed, wealthy and successful national federations, who enthusiastically welcome young talents from developing countries, could improve their efforts to help -- without a hidden agenda.

Don't get me wrong, I know very well that, for example, the DFB helps and has a few partnership agreements with developing countries. This is commendable, but unfortunately not always as thoughtful and visionary as it ought to be.

I wish to see the day when we have more direct co-operation between FIFA and the national federations.

Editor's note: Winfried Schaefer, a German national, is the head coach of Jamaica's senior football team, the Reggae Boyz.




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