Wednesday, December 6, 2023

FIFA dab-hand to grow grassroots football

FIFA Technical development officer Govinden Thondoo landed in the country this week to assess Botswana Football Association (BFA) football development program that was launched by BFA President Maclean Letshwiti last year. 
Since arrival, Thondoo has engaged in discussions with various personnel and top officials at Lekidi Football Centre. 
The Mauritian, who was once linked to the BFA Technical Director position after the departure of Benny Kgomela earlier this year, met, among others, the BFA President Maclean Letshwiti, BFA Technical Director Matshediso Saxton Kowa and BFA Youth development officer Masego Ntshingane. 
While happy with the progress the local football governing body has made in developing football, Thondoo is said to have advised the BFA to engage qualified coaches and enhance skills of those drilling players at development stages.
An accredited FIFA Technical Director, Thondoo has both FIFA and CAF coaching licences and has been praised by FIFA for excellence in grassroots development. 
With part of his mandate being to evaluate youth development programs technical plan and if necessary re-design, the technical director also offers expertise and services to associations on request with the support of FIFA.
BFA mouthpiece Tumo Mpatane told Sunday Standard in an interview that the association has been advised to stay with the program for some time for it to bear fruit. 
He said the European trained coach revealed that they are one of the most ambitious football federations in Africa and that they should strengthen their systems in remote regions.
“He was impressed with how ambitious the program is and has also highlighted that there is need to upgrade the quality and qualifications of our staff and the coaches in the regions. He believes it will not be easy but once we have everything running for more than three years we will enjoy benefits countries like Italy, Brazil are enjoying having an oiled strong youth structure,” Mpatane revealed.
Thondoo will seek to address the administrative direction of the youth league as it is key to the development of professional players. 
“Since the project is extended to 17 regions with both boys and girls partaking, Thondoo’s review will also cover the technical and administrative needs of the national youth league to improve the development stream in the country,” said Mpatane. 
During his campaign for Presidency, Letshwiti had promised to create 5, 000 jobs as he said the youth league will unearth talent that will sustain careers as they reach full potential and make a living  out of football while it will also create job opportunities for some participants. The league is said to have attracted 25, 000 participants in all 17 regions.



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