The Technical Directorate is set to review the academy system to shut out individuals and groups who purport to have the professional commitment and resources but eventually fail to set up professional academies in line with FIFA and ZIFA's requirements.
Among the changes is the inspection of premises which should have basic and mandatory equipment before an academy is granted the right to operate. Previously, submission of police clearances, coaching syllabuses and staff qualifications was enough to earn registration then an inspection would be scheduled for later.
Regular inspections shall also be conducted on registered academies to ensure that standards expected of proper academies are adhered to all the time.
Our major objective is to ensure that academies are fully equipped to train and develop fully rounded players who can have successful careers and then easily adjust to life after football.
This means that we are also looking at academies’ ability to capacitate these young players with other critical life skills.
Most importantly, we want to ensure the safety of young players because we have that mandate to safeguard them from any harm.
Academy staff and premises are supposed to meet the following conditions.
· Adequate and appropriate training pitches for specific age groups
· Adequate and appropriate equipment for each age groups [ball sizes etc]
· Class or lecture rooms for fundamental skills learning
· Dressing rooms with clean ablution facilities
· Secure environment for safety of young plyers
· Safe & reliable transportation of players
· Police clearances for academy staff
· Qualified personnel in respective areas of function
Academies without own premises should produce valid lease agreements for training facilities and office space.
The introduction of the FIFA Connect platform four years ago has helped ease academies’ quest to recoup training and development fees when their products sign professional contracts.
The recent surge in registration of academies requires such a response so that the bedrock of our game remains relevant to both local and international demands.
Thirteen local academies are set to receive equipment and technical assistance from FIFA under the global football aristocracy’s football ecosystem program.