AFCON: Europe’s contribution to African football development

This month, 24 groups go head-to-head on the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, a match that takes place a yr later than scheduled as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

Many stars who ply their membership commerce in UEFA competitions can be in motion as pleasure builds in direction of the ultimate on 6 February, however that isn’t the one motive for European consideration on the match.

Through the Assist programme, UEFA and its member associations have collaborated to additional the the event of soccer in all 24 competing Confederation of African Football (CAF) nations – sharing data, greatest follow and solidarity to assist the sport develop.

UEFA Assist operates everywhere in the world, serving to our sister confederations and their associations proceed to drive the sport ahead. Below, we take a look at the optimistic influence the programme has had specializing in key initiatives in every of the AFCON’s 24 nations.

Group A – Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Ethiopia

In collaboration with the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), we organised a 12-team under-17 growth match in Antalya in March 2019. Featuring eight groups from Africa, three from Europe, and Australia, the match allowed elite youth gamers to expertise different cultures and types of soccer, getting ready them for the 2019 Under-17 World Cup, but additionally life as senior worldwide footballers. Its success led to a second eight-team match in September 2019.

Burkina Faso
Between October 2020 and June 2021, UEFA staged a sequence of on-line advertising workshops for CAF member associations. The webinars helped advertising officers develop their technique and create devoted growth plans, in addition to sharing case research from UEFA members Czech Republic, Gibraltar and Norway, and greatest practices on branding, social networking and sponsorship, with a particular give attention to ladies’s soccer.

Cape Verde
As effectively as benefiting from the net advertising workshops described above, social coaching programmes have additionally been delivered for the Cape Verde FA between 2019 and 2020 by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), which has centered a lot of its on-going knowledge-sharing work in Portuguese-speaking nations.

UEFA Assist funding helped cement a partnership between Ethiopia and the Israel Football Association (IFA), with a give attention to technical growth. A memorandum of understanding was signed earlier than the partnership kicked off with two males’s under-17 worldwide pleasant matches, staged in June 2021.

Group B – Guinea, Malawi, Senegal, Zimbabwe

Guinea had been considered one of eight African groups to participate within the 12-team UEFA Assist under-17 growth match staged in Turkey in March 2019. Their younger gamers had been capable of face a wide range of opposition from Europe and Australia, getting ready them for that yr’s Under-17 World Cup, and, additional forward, senior worldwide soccer. The match additionally introduced a chance for coaches to additional their expertise and publicity to totally different types of play.

The English Football Association used UEFA Assist funding to donate soccer tools to Malawi.

Like Guinea, Senegal additionally performed within the under-17 growth match in Turkey in March 2019.

Thanks to UEFA Assist funding, the Zimbabwean Football Association was capable of buy a minivan in April 2021 – a elementary device first used for the transportation of teaching officers and taking part kids throughout grassroots festivals and workshops.

Group C – Comoros, Gabon, Ghana, Morocco

Comoros took half within the UEFA Academy General Secretary programme in Maputo, Mozambique in April 2021. The five-day programme allowed African common secretaries to check and deal with the sensible points they face, offering them with the instruments to assist enhance all areas of the affiliation’s day-to-day efficiency.

Between February and December 2021, the Assist crew supported the on-going professionalisation of Gabon’s league organisation and its top-division golf equipment, paving the way in which for long-term and sustainable growth within the nation. The most up-to-date exercise included face-to-face seminars in Gabon, led by the Assist crew.

The UEFA Assist crew staged an inaugural Football For Women programme in Ghana in December 2021. The five-day occasion was created to assist the nationwide affiliation develop ladies’s roles in all areas of soccer, each on and off the pitch. A complete vary of workshops showcased easy methods to implement efficient governance buildings to develop ladies’s soccer and improve consciousness and participation. The workshop additionally demonstrated easy methods to promote, professionalise and commercialise ladies’s soccer.


Morocco was {one of the} eight African nations concerned within the under-17 growth match in Turkey in March 2019.

Group D – Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Sudan


The Egyptian FA’s advertising director attended a sequence of on-line workshops in late 2020 to assist enhance their technique and advertising plans.

UEFA Assist funding has facilitated the acquisition of a minivan for the Guinea-Bissau FA, offering invaluable transport for grassroots footballers and coaches.

Having attended the unique UEFA Academy General Secretary programme in Ethiopia in 2018, Nigeria’s common secretary adopted up the expertise with a three-day on-line programme in February 2021. The follow-up programme reviewed lots of the authentic themes, with an added give attention to governance and administration, sponsorship and advertising, league professionalisation, membership licensing, ladies’s soccer growth and monetary administration.


Thanks to UEFA Assist funding, in July 2021 the Sudanese FA was capable of buy important tools for its medical centre.

Group E – Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone

Algeria took half in a UEFA Under-16 growth match hosted by the Albanian FA in February 2020. There, they had been capable of take a look at their expertise in opposition to the hosts, Georgia and Lithuania, exposing them and their crew of coaches to totally different types of play.

Equatorial Guinea
Like Algeria, the Equatorial Guinea FA’s workers attended the 2020 and 2021 workshops to assist develop efficient advertising methods and plans.

Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast had been contributors within the first UEFA Academy common secretary workshops in Casablanca in 2018. The programme is designed to carry common secretaries collectively to debate the problems and challenges they face of their roles, working collectively to achieve the instruments to assist enhance all areas of the affiliation’s day-to-day efficiency.

Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone had been contributors on the UEFA Academy General Secretary programme in Maputo, Mozambique in April 2021. The five-day programme allowed African nationwide affiliation common secretaries to check and deal with the sensible points they face, offering them with the instruments to assist enhance all areas of the affiliation’s day-to-day efficiency.

Group F – Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia

UEFA Assist workers visited native soccer festivals in Gambia in spring 2021, delivering ladies’s soccer growth programmes to coaches and academics in all seven areas of the nation.

Malian FA representatives additionally attended the UEFA Assist and CAF on-line advertising workshops in late 2020 and 2021. The programme helped attendees develop efficient advertising methods and plans to maintain the affiliation shifting forwards off the pitch.

Mauritania had been among the many first group of contributors within the UEFA General Secretary programme in 2018, which introduced collectively common secretaries from throughout African associations to debate points they face of their roles and supply them with entry to the UEFA Toolbox in Football Management -one of the sensible instruments to assist enhance day-to-day organisational efficiency.

Like Mauritania, Tunisia’s common secretary benefited from UEFA Academy steering and workshops in Casablanca in 2018.

UEFA Assist: placing soccer first around the globe

UEFA launched Assist, a soccer growth programme, in 2017. Its goal: to share the expertise and know-how of UEFA and its member associations past Europe.

By working intently with UEFA’s 5 sister confederations and FIFA, Assist has constructed on present collaborations with the AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North and Central America), CONMEBOL (South America) and the OFC (New Zealand and South Pacific island nations).

So far, Assist has channelled UEFA help to greater than 200 soccer growth initiatives in near 60 nations worldwide. Initiatives give attention to 4 primary objectives:

• Building capability
• Developing youth soccer
• Strengthening infrastructure
• Supporting UEFA member associations to create their very own solidarity programmes

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