The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has launched the Technical Development Scheme (TDS)- Eswatini. This is a project by FIFA that is aimed at creating a sustainable legacy for long term development by maximising each FIFA Member Association’s (MA’s ) opportunities as per the global ecosystem analysis (ESA). The ESA was conducted for 18 months by FIFA and it came out with two findings which are; a clear view of the global imbalance that exists in football, and the great potential of the MA’s talent development programme to tackle this imbalance. As highlighted by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the 71st FIFA Congress in May 2021, the TDS will offer a tailor-made concept for each country on how best to operate to give every talent a chance.
During the launch event that took place at the EFA’s Technical Centre in Lobamba, FIFA was represented by Serame Letsoaka who is the FIFA Technical Consultant. Also present during this event were the EFA Executive Committee Members and some Executive Committee Members from the EFA Membership to mention but a few. When making his address during this launch, Serame Letsoaka highlighted the importance of implementing football development programmes at grassroots level. “If the foundation is strong enough, everything takes care of itself, because everybody wants to sponsor a good product”, Letsoaka said.
Speaking of behalf of the EFA President was the Lubombo Regional Football Association Chairperson who is also an Executive Committee Member of the EFA, Nichodemus Mashwama who acknowledged the support by FIFA towards football development in the country and for making it possible that this programme is implemented in the country. “As EFA, we would like to acknowledge FIFA for her support towards football development in the country and for the implementation of the TDS in the country. We assure FIFA that this project will be perfectly executed in the country”, Mashwama said.
The TDS- Eswatini will be implemented in six EFA’s centres with the possibility of adding more. These centres are, Mkhuzweni, Lobamba, Manzini, Matsapha, KaLanga and Nhlangano and its theme is “Consolidating football talent”. The participants for this football development programme are U13, U15 and U17 boys and girls. This talent was identified from the other football development programmes that are implemented by the EFA.