Bulawayo academy seeks Fifa accreditation

02 Oct, 2020 - 00:10 0 Views
Bulawayo academy seeks Fifa accreditation Young Flying Stars Sports Academy


Fungai Muderere
BULAWAYO-based Young Flying Stars Sports Academy (YFSSA) are in the process of getting accredited with FIFA in a move meant to further formalise their operations. Founded in 2012, YFSSA provides home to sports enthusiasts aged between five and 20 at Raylton Recreation Club.

“We have been in existence for the past eight years and as such we have seen the need to further formalise our operations by getting accredited with FIFA. We are frantically working on that with the help of Zifa. It’s all about improving our standards with the hope of getting more recognition from potential sponsors and other would-be stakeholders,” said YFSSA founder Collin Nyambiya.

He added: “There is a need to get more professional because we are looking for partnerships or sponsorship. In return we become brand ambassadors for our partners by having their billboards at our clubhouse and also putting on branded uniforms for our partners to get more mileage.”

Nyambiya’s sentiments come in the backdrop of media reports that Zifa was set to embark on an ambitious programme to revamp football academies in the country to shut out individuals and organisations that claim to have resources and commitment for such projects only to fail to meet expected standards.

The move is also reportedly aimed at protecting minors from abuse and ensuring that institutions that run junior teams will eventually reap the fruits of their investments through an agreed compensation criteria.

Zifa have laid down minimum requirements for academy staff workers and said regular inspections would be conducted on all registered academies to ensure set standards are adhered to. Submission of a police clearance, coaching syllabuses and staff qualifications is enough for registration, with inspection by the national association only being conducted when the academy is already operating.

“Our major objective is to ensure that academies are fully equipped to train and develop fully rounded players who can have successful careers and then easily adjust to life after football. This means that we are looking at academies’ ability to capacitate these young players with other critical life skills. Most importantly, we want to ensure the safety of young players because we have that mandate to safeguard them from any harm,” said Zifa.

Going forward, academy staff and premises ought to have adequate and appropriate training pitches and equipment for specific age groups.

Ball sizes, class or lecture rooms for fundamental skills learning, dressing rooms with clean ablution facilities, secure environment for safety of young players, safe and reliable transport for players, police clearance for academy staff as well as qualified personnel in respective areas of function will now be some of the requirements for one to operate an academy.

“Academies without their own premises should produce valid lease agreements for training facilities and office space. The introduction of the Fifa Connect platform four years ago has helped ease academies’ quest to recoup training and development fees when their products sign professional contracts,” added Zifa.

The national association said a recent surge in the registration of academies pushed for such a response so that the bedrock of the national game remained relevant both locally and at international level.

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