Jacqui talks FIFA Technical Study Group

Jacqui S.jpg

She has been part of a various technical study groups from COSAFA to CAF and FIFA levels and her next journey to Papa New Guinea as a member of the FIFA Technical Study Group Member for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women Cup underway in that country. Jacqui Shipanga talks about her latest assignment.

The Technical Report, produced by the experts of the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG), not only represents a key insight into the main tactical and technical insight into trends that marked the tournament but also an educational tool for all 211 member associations. The FIFA World Cup is also a unique platform Cup that enables FIFA to further develop the game and inspire those who are responsible for coaching and educating future generations of talented players.

The TSG undertakes a wide range of tasks, but the fundamental priorities remain the same: to continue the development of the world's best loved sport.

Observing and analyzing all games; Identifying technical-tactical trends; Examining each team’s tactical strategy; Goal Analysis; Visit training sessions; Compiling a technical report and a DVD for FIFA development programmes; Key points of the team‘s performance Key players; Technical and tactical analysis; Trends ; Fair Play Trophy; Golden, Silver and Bronze Boot; Golden, Silver and Bronze Ball; Golden Glove; LIVE YOUR GOALS Player of the Match Award.

Why I like the Youth World is the fact that FIFA really unites the world, for a country such as Papua New Guinea to host the U20 Women world Cup is enormous and will in return boost the countries tourism and business industry. Papua New Guinea hosting the World Cup and improve the countries infrastructure such ,stadiums being build with flood lights, most importantly the human element with more than 800 volunteers that are receiving various training in their specialization area.

The tournament is being held in Port Moresbyand even though we are 8 hours ahead of local time in Windhoek I have been struggling to adjust during the 1st few days. The second most exciting thing is to really being in the presence of World Class coaches and experts such as my idol Vera Pauw recently nominated by FIFA as coach of the year and former coach of Banayana Banyana. There is just so much to learn and sharing of best practices and being in her presence truly inspire the rest of the TSG members.

What amazes me the most with FIFA is the tremendous work ethic of its employees and high level of qualifications and competencies. Yet the human touch and humility that these employees possess is second to none.

My Take on the Tournament:
The mere fact that the FIFA U20 WWC is every second year is clear testimony of FIFA’s deliberate efforts to develop and promote youth development in Women’s Football. FIFA recently in Jordan at the U17 WWC introduce new regulations to further continue to empower women in the game by the compulsory inclusion of at least two female staff in the official delegation: This rule is very important as it requires Member Associations to at least appoint one female as medical staff and one as coaching staff. At this stage it is Germany that is leading with almost a 90% female representation of their whole delegation. As reigning champions they are indeed leading by example.

My take on the African Teams is simple yet a cause for concern:
African will always remain an important presence at the Women’s World Cups, just like Nigeria and Ghana both now managed to collect points respectively and still have to play their final match to determine if they will qualify to the next round. Not, even if they do win their next match the goal average might just be another challenge on it own with Nigeria losing her 1st game against Japan 6-0 and recovering well to win their second match against Canada 3-1, their final group stage match will be against Spain who most likely qualified already with six points and aiming to be top of the group they will not make things easy for Nigeria.

Ghana on the other hand lost their 1st game to New Zealand 1-0 and drew their second against France in a 2-2 thriller. They have to face USA in order to advance to the next round .

Why Are African Teams struggling:
Member Associations do not put more effort to prepare the team for stronger competitions, in Africa Nigerian and Ghana can only play two opponents 4 if they are lucky there was no withdrawals and they already qualify for the World Cup there is not enough competitions in Africa at National level such as Youth leagues, Competitive National leagues and Cup competitions let alone be provided with at least 4 international friendlies as preparation for both the players and the technical team on how to deal and cope in a tournament of this magnitude.

Member Associations in Africa are just to happy to qualify and then preparation is out of the window yet expect miracles against fast improving confederations and countries such as Asia and Japan, even Conmebol is starting to put more efforts in grassroots and women football development though the assistance of FIFA’s FAP and various FIFA Educational programmes.

Member Associations organize a FIFA women football referee/coaching course once a year for a week and we hope that will help us to win or be competitive at the world cup. Ones coaches receives their certificates the next obvious thing to do is to organize Leagues and National Competitions, for player and coaches and referee , medical and administrative develop it is a holistic developmental package.

If it took me 5-6 days just to acclimatize to the 8 hour difference imagine what impact it must have had on the 2014 World Cup Finalist Nigeria with even a great 9 hour difference, with limited and poor preparation, the expectation of Africans is for these poor teams to represent our continent by performing miracles it is about time CAF and Member Associations take responsibility to develop the women game before Africa falls behind.

As of yet Africa has not yet hosted a youth nor Women’s World Cup however we do take pride that instrumental women such as Lydia Nsekera (President of Burundi Football Association)are recognized by FIFA and serves on the FIFA Executive Committee, but there is potential in Africa and our leaders should embrace the development of the Women’s since the standard of our opponents is is increasing and it has become a norm to be adequately prepared and develop the development structures of the Women’s game as not to fall behind or face possible early exit from these tournaments.

All in all Papua New Guinea is the place to be!