Football in danger without grassroots and youth programmes: FIFA delegates
Need to form and apply own style
"If there are no grassroots development and youth programmes, football is really in danger then," said FIFA's Asian Senior Development Officer Mike Pfister on Friday in a press meet regarding the 'FIFA Review of Bangladesh Football Federation' programme.
He also said that Bangladesh needed not follow styles of Brazil, Germany or Argentina as these would not work in here. They better form and apply their own style and that would be helpful for them.
Mike Pfister along with FIFA Regional Development Officer Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, coaching instructor Vincent Subramaniam and AFC official Nuraiym Alymkulova came in Dhaka on November 1.
Under 'FIFA Review of the Bangladesh Football Federation' programme, the high status FIFA delegations from the FIFA Headquarter in Zurich worked from November 2 to 4 with the Bangladesh football officials on the draft-plan regarding the four-year plan of the Federation.
Before their departure, the FIFA delegates met the press to brief on the task during their stay. BFF president Kazi M Salahuddin who was also present in there said that they invited the FIFA officials to get the benefit of their expertise to give shape to a draft plan before submitting it to FIFA under 'FIFA Forward Programme'.
BFF boss informed that they would finalise the plane soon and will submit it to FIFA then.
FIFA will see the plan, analyse it and if found worthy, they will approve it and will closely monitor if it was properly executed.
Salahuddin said that their draft plan includes training and residential facilities for the boys U-18, U-16 and girls U-16 teams, rebuilding training centre, set up a gymnasium, installation of floodlight facilities at the Artificial Turf at Arambagh and installation of a small turf at the lawn of the BFF House.
Mike, son of a former national coach of Bangladesh in 1998, said that there was no guarantee that every plan will be approved by the FIFA.
He described the system like that the federation would draft and finalise a plan, sent the proposal to FIFA, FIFA examine it, approve it if find good enough, provide money then and monitor everything closely whether the money is properly utilised.
The FIFA official put emphasis on grassroots development and said that the infrastructural development was not everything required for football development.
He said, "Let's not hide behind the infrastructural matter, there are more to work with and proper planning and implementation is important."
Spotting the BFF draft-plan a highly ambitious one, Mike advised BFF to be more specific.
FIFA Regional Development Officer Dr Shaji Prabhakaran advised BFF to work with schools, Ministry of Education and local administrations for an expected development in root level.
Shaji gave interesting information that the allotment for the BFF Academy was still in their account as BFF failed to continue the project after a few days.
BFF vice-president Tabith Awal, women wing chairperson Mahfuza Akter Kiron, general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag and federation's Technical and Strategic Director Paul Smalley were present in the press meet too.