FIFA’s innovative Technical Leadership Diploma, which aims to be the international standard for technical leaders in football was launched at the Brazilian FA (CBF) Training Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The course’s inaugural class consisted of twenty-five delegates from football associations and confederations around the world. These participants convened at the Brazilian FA (CBF) Training Centre to begin the first part of the Level 6 qualification.
Steven Martens, FIFA Director of Global Football Development, acknowledged the pivotal role of technical leaders in shaping the future of football. Martens articulated that FIFA, in recent years, has focused on working with its member associations to develop programmes like the Talent Development Scheme (TDS). The success of these schemes, according to Martens, hinges on the expert guidance of technical leaders, which is why FIFA seeks to foster and improve their skills.
Martens’ sentiments were echoed by Jamie Houchen, FIFA Head of Technical Leadership, who highlighted the current lack of a universally acknowledged award or accreditation for technical leaders. Houchen asserted that the FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma is poised to fill this void and set the gold standard in football leadership worldwide.
The comprehensive 18-month course will equip technical leaders with the tools they need to address the unique challenges and opportunities they encounter within their respective member associations. The curriculum spans five core domains:
- Technical leadership
- High performance
- Coach Education
- Amateur football
The inaugural workshop in Brazil focused on promoting cultural and organisational understanding, shaping national playing philosophy, and strategic planning. The attendees will now embark on a personal project centred on their unique contexts and engage in a programme of online learning. The group is slated to reconvene in Japan in December for six days, followed by two additional face-to-face sessions in 2024.
The FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma is part of FIFA’s comprehensive Technical Leadership Education Pathway, which also includes:
- An introductory workshop for new technical leaders
- A leadership and knowledge exchange in collaboration with the FIFA Talent Development Scheme (TDS)
- A leadership workshop for technical leaders
- An online education pathway through the FIFA Training Centre
The 25 participants who received personal invitations to join the inaugural class are:
- Aabed Alansari (Bahrain)
- Ross Awa (Guam)
- Indra Sjafri (Indonesia)
- Bassem Mohamad (Lebanese Football Association)
- Carles Romagosa (The Football Association of Thailand)
- Bhekisisa Boy Mkhonta (Eswatini)
- Benjamin Kumwenda (Football Association of Malawi)
- Jaqueline Shipanga (Namibia Football Association)
- Walter Steenbok (South African Football Association)
- Ali Mwebe (Federation of Uganda Football Associations)
- Lyson Zulu (Football Association of Zambia)
- Iván Novella (Colombian Football Association)
- Anton Corneal (Trinidad And Tobago)
- Luis Castro (Argentinian Football Association)
- Stipe Pletikosa (Croatian Football Federation)
- Kay Cossington (The Football Association)
- Janno Kivisild (Estonian Football Association)
- Marians Pahars (Latvian Football Federation)
- Diana Bulgaru (Football Association of Moldova)
- Andrew Gould (The Scottish Football Association)
- Lili Bai (Asian Football Confederation)
- Jayne Ludlow (Manchester City Women)
- Patricia Gonzalez (FIFA)
- Buman-Uchral Bold (Mongolian Football Federation)
- Ricardo Leão – Brazilian Football Association