Players languish in the countryside

With Alie Sonta Kamara
Young talents in football are languishing in the countryside while the administrative wing of football continues to fight a never-ending battle to spearhead the affairs of the game.
Momodu Maria, Captain for Wara Wara Bafodia FC
Grassroots football is football played by the masses at a level where participation and a love of the game are the driving forces.
FIFA’s grassroots football programme targets boys and girls aged 6-12 years through school, community and club initiatives.

Research shows that when young grassroots players have positive experiences, their lifelong participation as players, coaches, leaders, volunteers and fans is more likely. The key concept of the programme is to bring together as many people as possible through football. The grassroots programme advocates exchanges and sharing human values and, of course, promotes the pleasure of practicing football.
But the heinous divide among football stakeholders over the course of four years has truncated effort to look inward for realistic solutions as to why the country has not been able to produce good players nurtured from grassroots.
Young talents in football are languishing in the countryside, having no playing tools and a coach to direct them. One such remote area is the Wara Wara Bafodia, a town surrounded by giant relief features just behind Kabala.
The Captain for the Wara Wara Bafodia FC, Momodu Maria, does not even know whether the SLFA exists and what is happening among football stakeholders. Momodu believes they love football but the lack of tools to play the game discourages many.
Even Sorie Mansaray, a player who wants to go international, is worried that the lack of playing tools is a major concern.
For some people, grassroots football is a focus for recreational activities, while for others it is the organised practice of the sport.
One of the three approaches adopted by FIFA is to “Develop the game”. This is manifested in the main objective of FIFA’s grassroots football programme: to allow football to be discovered by as many people as possible. The best way of attracting new players to the sport is to give them access to football in their own environment whatever their age, sex, physical condition, skin colour, religion or ethnic origin.

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