Technical Directors Need To Drive Change: FIFA Regional Development Manager Prince Rufus
Football is an ever-changing game. With as many as 211 countries coming under FIFA’s banner, the confluence of cultures has brought about different practices to the ‘beautiful game.’ With different practices, come new roles with regards to the development of football operations.
One very significant role in football is that of the Technical Director, an official who is responsible for putting in place the framework for the improvement of both coaches and players in the country.
While it has become a widespread practice for various member associations to hire Technical Directors, FIFA is looking to help these officials improve through an exchange of ideas from different countries.
Representatives from as many as five Asian member associations – Syria, Sri Lanka, Oman, Iran, and hosts India -- are currently participating in the FIFA Workshop for the Technical Directors in Mumbai.
“I’m sure the Technical Directors workshop will help all participants go back enriched to their respective member associations and be a catalyst of change in their countries,” said FIFA Regional Development Manager for South Asia, Prince Rufus on Wednesday (December 12).
Former National Team player Savio Medeira, presently the Technical Director of the AIFF, opined that the role presents a whole set of new challenges, especially with regards to preparing different approaches for a culturally diverse nation like India.
“The focus should always be on football, spread the base, improve the coaches, and in turn improve the players,” felt Medeira.
“As the AIFF Technical Director you need to keep in mind that there are so many cultures throughout our country -- something that may work in one region, may not work in another,” he added. “So we need to expose our Technical Directors to what different countries do, in order to develop football.”
Complementing Medeira, AIFF Head of Player Development Richard Hood believes that an Indian Technical Director needs to understand the different cultures and help promote them in the football practices across the various regions of the country.
“The role of the Technical Director is an evolving one. Like most countries around the world, it is important that we have someone from our own country who understands the nuances of the different cultures across India,” said Hood.
One of the key points highlighted during the opening session of the FIFA workshop was the development of an overall footballing philosophy for the respective countries.
Rufus’ predecessor at FIFA, and current Football Delhi chief Shaji Prabhakaran believes that a “national philosophy” is of paramount importance.
“National philosophy is definitely of great importance to Indian football. The Technical Director needs to be able to initiate the conversation on the ground level, and maybe, through this, we could have our own philosophy a few years down the line,” he maintained.