FAS ● Mar 07, 2023

FIFA launches their Football For Schools (F4S) programme in Singapore



SINGAPORE, 7 MARCH 2023 – The skies were grey but the spirits were bright last Saturday (4 March) morning, as 140 teachers, coaches, and students from participating primary and secondary schools took part in the official launch of the FIFA Football for Schools (F4S) programme.


The event was held at the Jalan Besar Stadium, which is home to the FIFA Forward funded pitch inaugurated by FIFA President Gianni Infantino in 2021.


Students playing in the rain, March 2023. 


Launched in 2019 by FIFA in collaboration with UNESCO, the FIFA F4S program aims to make football accessible to both boys and girls across the globe by incorporating football activities into the education system.


The programme includes the launch of a free FIFA F4S app, for coaches, teachers, or any adult in a similar capacity, the provision of equipment (including Adidas footballs) which will be distributed to schools, and a one-off US$50,000 grant to run the programme, and other national football initiatives.


The launch of FIFA F4S in Singapore was held over three days from 2 March to 4 March – 2 and 3 March were dedicated to a two-day part-theory, part-practical capacity-building workshop guided by FIFA F4S project coordinators Alexandra Huete Ramos and Antonio Buenaño Sánchez over the use of the FIFA F4S app for the teachers and coaches, whilst the official launch was held on 4 March.


Alexandra showing Mr Eric Chua and Mr Bernard Tan how the app works, March 2023. 


Esteemed guests such as FIFA’s Director of the F4S programme, Ms. Fatimata Sidibe, Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth Senior Parliamentary Secretary, and chairman of the Unleash The Roar! Executive Committee, Mr. Eric Chua, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS)’s Acting President Mr. Bernard Tan, FAS General Secretary Yazeen Buhari, and other representatives from the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Unleash The Roar! Committee as well as Sport Singapore, were in attendance during launch day on the 4 March.


Mr Chua giving his opening speech, March 2023. 


Mr Chua reaffirmed the significance of the application in boosting local football, alongside the national football uplift project, Unleash The Roar! Initiative in his opening speech: “I strongly believe our youth holds the key to a much better future in the sport, and our goal to facilitate the footballing dreams of young footballers under Unleash The Roar initiative, which started in 2021, aligns very well with F4S. This is especially true under Pillar 1: Let Them Play, where the intent is to nurture strong interest and increase participation among our young ones through a unified curriculum with strong local coaches developed at all levels.


“I highly commend FIFA and UNESCO’s efforts in creating a programme that uses play in educating our young through football, which is one of the most popular sports in Singapore. As legendary three-time Ballon d’Or winner and former manager, Johan Cruyff once said, ‘Football has to be fun for kids, or it doesn’t make sense”.


Ms Sidibe giving her opening speech, March 2023. 


Ms Sidibe reflected Mr. Chua’s sentiment in her opening speech, adding “I can see the bridge between your aspirations, visions, and strategic plans under the UTR initiative with the F4S. I hope we can continue such collaborations to achieve our shared aspirations in making football truly global.”


She also commended the efforts of key stakeholders in Singapore to put together a successful launch: “I would also like to thank the FAS’s Acting President Mr. Bernard Tan and his team for hosting the launch of the F4S programme today. Your team has done tremendous work for the past month, and I appreciate the warm welcome I have received throughout my time here in Singapore.


A coach guiding the students using the F4S app, March 2023. 


Alexandra told FAS that her positive interactions with the coaches and teachers during the workshop gives her hope that the objectives of the app will be met. She added that she hopes the app will be able to tackle one key aspect of local football here – boosting more participation amongst girls and women in the sport: “I see few female representations in terms of coaches, teachers, and the students as well. I hope through the app, it will be easier to get more girls and female educators to be involved in football, and that it will become normal for girls to play football with boys.


“In 10 years, we hope not only to see the Women’s National Team being successful but that we can see more girls play football and more female coaches attending workshops to improve their teaching capabilities”.



As part of the programme schedule on 4th March, students were grouped according to different age groups and separated into six pitches, following a rotational order. Three to four coaches and teachers were assigned to each pitch, which focused on different skill sets of the sport such as ball control, teamwork, and goal-scoring. Each training session had five key elements: Opening Circle, Warm-up, Skill Development, Game Application and Closing Circle – all of which targeted to develop their technical skills whilst building life skill competencies at the same time. You may find out more about the programme via the FIFA’s website here.



From left to right: Mr Bernard Tan, FIFA Development Project Coordinator Niko, Antonio, Ms Fatimata, Alexandra


The day of fun may have ended by noon, but the smiling faces of the overjoyed students, teachers, coaches, parents and everyone in attendance was truly a memory that won’t be forgotten. In his closing address, Mr Tan reasserted his appreciation to FIFA for including Singapore in the Football 4 Schools (F4S) programme, saying, “I believe your ambition and continued support thus far, as well as our commitment, can go hand in glove with our aligned vision in empowering the power of football to develop the futures of our children and youth. As a token of appreciation, Ms Sidibe, and other FIFA representatives were given a personalised Singapore national team jersey.



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