Got a question? Look through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
1. What is the Football for Schools programme?
Football for Schools (F4S) is an ambitious programme launched by FIFA, in collaboration with UNESCO, that aims to contribute to the education, development and empowerment of around 700 million children. It seeks to make football more accessible to both boys and girls around the world by incorporating football activities into the education system, in partnership with relevant authorities and stakeholders. The programme has been designed to build targeted life skills and competencies through football and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other priorities.
The F4S programme is aligned to global sport, education, and health policies, including the Kazan Action Plan, the Education 2030: Incheon Declaration and Framework of Action, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). The F4S programme can be used by member states and football associations to further national development priorities.
2. What does the Football for Schools programme include?
The programme will include:
- A free digital application (Football for Schools) accessible via Google Play or the App Store;
- An online learning platform with relevant content for programme stakeholders;
- The provision of equipment – including Adidas footballs – that will be distributed to schools;
- A once-off USD50,000 payment to member associations (MAs) to manage the programme.
3. What are the objectives of the Football for Schools programme?
The F4S programme seeks to achieve four key outcomes:
- Empower learners (boys and girls) with valuable life skills and competencies;
- Empower and capacitate coach-educators to deliver sport and life skills activities;
- Build capacity of stakeholders (schools, member associations and public authorities) to deliver life skills through football; and
- Strengthen cooperation between governments, member associations and participating schools, enabling partnerships, alliances and intersectoral collaboration.
The F4S programme is guided by a results-based management framework and theory of change which assumes that developing intrapersonal, interpersonal and cognitive skills among learners, alongside gains in knowledge and positive attitudes, will help them develop life skills or competencies. If this is done within an enabling, inclusive and caring environment that promotes individual learning and development with a combination of football and life skills, the programme may be able to contribute to individual and community change and subsequently to identified SDGs.
4. How will the programme be delivered?
The programme will be delivered in a phased approach, beginning with regional consultations with national stakeholders. Interested parties will form a national steering group for the governance of the project and to submit applications, to be reviewed by FIFA, in collaboration with UNESCO. The national steering group will designate focal points and national training coordinators, main partners to be involved, modalities of cooperation, geographic priorities, selection of schools, distribution of footballs and equipment, communication, outreach activities and reporting modalities.
Regional workshops will be organized to introduce the programme to national focal points and train national training coordinators. A cascade training model will be used in which national training coordinators then train national trainers who will train selected coach-educators. The programme will then be delivered in the selected schools using the F4S mobile application and will be subject to continuous monitoring and evaluation.
5. What is a national steering group?
The national steering group (NSG) is responsible for the governance and management of the F4S programme within its territory. This includes the adaptation, delivery and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the programme. The NSG is ideally constituted as early as possible before submitting an official application to join the F4S programme. It is crucial for the NSG to reach a formal agreement before the programme is rolled out, including the processes for different levels of training, selecting schools, and setting overall programme targets, implementation, M&E and administrative support.
The NSG should comprise officials from the FIFA member association (MA) and the relevant ministry or public authority (in many cases this will likely be the Ministry of Education). This will include the designation of national F4S focal points (ideally at least one from an MA and one from a relevant ministry) who will attend a regional workshop. One of the focal points should be committed to take on the role of National Training Coordinator (NTC) who will oversee the roll out of national/local training of trainers in the territory. Other focal points may share responsibility for the governance and administration of the programme and may include other stakeholders.
6. What about COVID - will this affect the Football for Schools programme?
The F4S programme and its stakeholders will adhere to global, regional and national level regulations and guidelines on COVID-19. Plans will be made to arrange consultations, workshops and trainings virtually, while in-person delivery of the programme to learners may need to be postponed until it is considered safe and approved by the authorities.
7. What is the Football for Schools platform?
You are using the F4S platform right now! This is an online learning platform that provides open access, free of charge content for those implementing, managing or supporting the F4S programme.
The platform provides content to support coach-educators in delivering the programme. It also provides information for stakeholders, including parents; learners; schools; member associations; government and others. The platform also provides general information on the F4S programme, including detail on football plans and policies, using football for good and youth development.
8. What is the Football for Schools mobile application?
The F4S mobile application (app) is exactly that – a digital application that is accessible on most mobile devices and can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play or the Apple App Store.
The app contains detailed content and guidance on managing and delivering F4S activities to boys and girls aged 4-7, 8-11 and 12-14. This includes a series of easy-to-follow videos and instructions, which combine football with life skills. The application needs to be accessed online to start but sessions can be downloaded for offline use.
To access the F4S mobile application, click this link on your mobile device:
- For Android
- For iPhone
9. What is the difference between the mobile application and learning platform?
The mobile application (app) and learning platform complement one another. However, the app is for end users – those who will manage and deliver F4S activities, such as coach-educators. The learning platform targets a broader audience of users and key stakeholders, including member associations, schools, governments and other target groups. It also provides further background on the F4S project.
10. Who manages the Football for Schools project?
The F4S programme, including the learning platform and mobile application, is managed by the FIFA Foundation, in collaboration with UNESCO. FIFA and UNESCO developed the programme together and in so doing consulted several key partners and experts.
This includes Adidas who will supply millions of footballs as part of the programme and their partnership with FIFA. Various other stakeholders have also contributed to the programme and this is greatly appreciated.
11. Is my school or community able to benefit from the programme?
Yes. The F4S programme is open to all schools and communities. It is expected that the national steering group in each country that applies to join the programme will select schools, in conjunction with the relevant authorities. It is important that permission is granted by the relevant authorities (e.g. ministry of education) for endorsement of the F4S programme and ability to access schools.
12. What is the application process?
Schools will be identified by the relevant authorities (e.g. Ministry of Education - MoE) and need to send a F4S application form to the national steering group (NSG). Alternatively, the MoE may send a F4S application on behalf of interested schools to the NSG. The application process is described below.
Submission of applications by schools
Schools that wish to become participating schools shall provide NSG with the following documents and information – or this information will be provided directly by the Ministry of Education:
- full name of the school, official address and registration number (if applicable);
- total number of students and breakdown per age: 4-7 years, 8-11 years and 12-14 years;
- number of teaching staff who are qualified to teach physical education;
- statement from the Schools confirming that the F4S programme will be included in their curricula or extracurricular activities;
- number of hours per class intended for the F4S programme.
Revision by the NSG of applications from schools
- The NSG shall review the documents and information provided by the Schools/MoE and grant them a timeframe in case any document or information is missing;
- Only applications that contain all documents and information as outlined under the directives shall be processed further.
Provision of documents and information to FIFA
- Once schools/MoE have sent the information, the NSG shall provide FIFA with:
- a letter from the relevant governmental authorities, e.g. the ministry of education, confirming that it authorises the participating schools in the territory of the relevant member association to include the F4S programme in their curricula or extracurricular activities;
- a list of the participating schools;
- a detailed list of football equipment requested by each participating school.
- Member associations shall ensure that the totality of the football equipment allocated to each of them under the F4S Programme is distributed to the participating schools. It shall be the member associations’ responsibility to safeguard and properly store the totality of the football equipment allocated to each of them.
- Football equipment provided by FIFA under the F4S programme shall only be used for the purpose of providing participating schools with the necessary equipment to implement the F4S programme and for no other reason whatsoever. FIFA may grant exceptions to this requirement under exceptional circumstances.
13. Is there a cost to join the programme?
No. The Football for Schools programme shall be provided entirely free of charge to the participating schools, including their staff and students, and no fee whatsoever shall be requested to process the applications of the schools, nor will any other fees be charged to schools for any reason.
14. How can I get involved?
14.1 I work at a school - how can I get involved?
Schools can get involved by contacting the MoE or NSG in their region/country and finding out if the F4S programme is active in their country.
Schools that would like to join the programme must adhere to the procedures outlined in #11 above.
14.2 I represent a football association - how can I get involved?
Member associations (MAs) play a critical role in this project. They are the main liaison with FIFA and need to adhere to the procedures outlined above. MAs need to work with the relevant authorities to form a national steering group and apply to join the F4S programme, as outlined above. MAs may also be able to apply directly for the programme but still need to cooperate with local authorities.
14.3 I represent a government or public entity - how can I get involved?
Cooperation with various government entities (e.g. departments of education, health, sport, youth etc.) is critical to the success of this initiative. Government representatives will be involved in the formation of a national steering group and in applying for, and managing, the F4S programme.
14.4 I am a key stakeholder not mentioned above - how can I get involved?
Other stakeholders also play an important role. This includes civil society actors such as non-profit organisations or NGOs, the private sector (including sponsors and corporate social responsibility initiatives), communities themselves, the academic sector, and of course the broader sport industry. Other stakeholders should liaise with the MAs and authorities in their region to become involved.
14.5 I am a general member of the public - how can I get involved?
As mentioned above, you can access the F4S app and start delivering F4S activities on your own! The digital application is accessible on most smart phones (mobiles) and can be downloaded from the App Store. It is free of charge and accessible to anyone and everyone. It contains detailed content and guidance on managing and delivering F4S activities to boys and girls aged 4-7, 8-11 and 12-14, including a series of easy-to-follow videos. Each session is accompanied by a relevant life skill to ensure the playing is combined with learning. The application needs to be accessed online to start but sessions can be downloaded for offline use. There are no restrictions to using the application.
To access the F4S mobile application, click this link on your mobile device:
- For Android
- For iPhone
15. Who can I contact?
As elaborated in the ‘How can I get involved’ section above, schools can get involved by contacting the relevant governing authority. Individuals and organisations should not contact FIFA directly.
Queries regarding the delivery of the F4S project in a certain school or community need to be directed to the national steering group (NSG) or relevant member association, and not FIFA directly. The NSG and/or member association is responsible for in-country delivery, including the distribution of footballs and resources.
Government entities interested in the programme should first make contact with their member association before contacting FIFA directly.