CONCACAF, FMF join in effort to advance the game
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Participants of the CONCACAF and FMF Excellence Program and Mexico U-15 women's national football team, after a practical session in Toluca, Mexico.

TOLUCA, Mexico -- The Program of Excellence for Coaching Education, launched by CONCACAF and the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol (FMF), successfully concluded last week, after five days of sessions focused on improving the football standards within the region.

For the first time, CONCACAF and FMF jointly established an initiative featuring instructive opportunities aimed at elevating the quality of the sport.

Additionally, the Program of Refereeing Excellence is set to begin January 31, with the participation of 13 referees from the entire region. The top national-level referees will be trained over an eight-week period by professional Mexican referees and FIFA instructors.

Participants will be assigned to work selected games in one of the lower FMF divisions commensurate with their level of refereeing. The program consists of two four-week sessions: the Introductory Course, which will run until February 28, and the Certification Course, which will take place September-October 2017.

Coaching Education
Technical Development Directors from 35 Member Associations were given the opportunity to participate in the Program of Excellence for Coaching Education, which took place in the new FMF facilities in Toluca, Mexico. The program was a part of the strategic plan set forth by CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani in his effort to implement the ONE CONCACAF Vision, which focuses on investing primarily in football.

The attendees had access to FMF’s educational tools and took part in special sessions concentrating on football’s technical, physical, psychological, and nutritional aspects. Discussions on youth tournament structures and children’s football, among other topics, offered valuable insights on how to develop the sport from the grassroots level.

Here are comments on the Program of Excellence for Coaching Education from some attendees:

Iñigo Riestra, FMF Director of International Affairs, spoke of the Federation’s development and growth.
“The idea is to show how we grew and to make it clear that the federation did not begin as it exists today. Every federation starts from the bottom. You shouldn’t leave here thinking ‘if we don’t have this, we cannot get better or we need 400 employees to reach this goal’.”

Frank Ludolph, UEFA Head of Football Education Services, spoke of the importance of grassroots development and of the best practices for advancing the sport.
“It’s a pleasure to share UEFA’s experience in the area of grassroots development, on the occasion of this program delivered by CONCACAF and FMF, and to be able to present the minimum criteria in this context, as a guide for the Member Associations. Through grassroots, we aim to encompass the entire population by offering opportunities to anyone that wishes to play. It would be ideal for all of CONCACAF’s Member Associations to develop basic structures and a specific strategy, so as to establish a solid platform and bring grassroots to the next level.”

 Jorge Alexy Jimenez, representative of the Federación Nacional Autónoma de Fútbol de Honduras, emphasized the importance of the seminar for improving performance in his country at the regional level.
“We thank CONCACAF and FMF for this opportunity, which gives us parameters for planning in the short-, medium- and long-term in order to reach the same excellence that Mexico displays at different levels. It is important to document progress for assessing and measuring performance improvements. The emphasis that FMF puts on psychological aspects, to guide youth on the responsibilities of being football players and their commitments to society is equally important.”

Etienne Anthony Siliee, representative of the Federashon Futbol Korsou (Curacao), commented on the areas that he considered most relevant for his country.
“This is a wonderful initiative, which allows us to learn about Mexico’s experience, its principles, to work in areas such as personal growth, and long-term planning processes for the success and growth of national youth teams.”