Youth development in football: a meeting of minds on Sochi

Eventica was proud to play a part in the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi – one of the upcoming Host Cities of the Russia 2018 World Cup. On 20 October, we hosted a lively panel discussion on the subject of youth development in football, a session chaired by World Football Forum Director Edward Cowell.

The panellists who shared their expertise from the podium were Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General; Alu Alkhanov, Chairman of the International Student Football Union; Richard Grootscholten, Academy Director of Feyenoord Rotterdam FC; Alexei Smertin, Anti-Discrimination Officer of the Russian Football Union; Viktoria Lopyreva, Russia 2018 Ambassador; and Tom Byer, grassroots football expert and Technical Advisor for the Chinese Football Association Schools Programme.

The session covered a broad range of themes, including the establishment of an international student football league and the various stages of youth development in football from the age of two years to elite professional level. The event also provided a platform for FIFA’s Secretary General and the two Russia 2018 Ambassadors on the panel to set out their aspirations for a lasting World Cup legacy in Russia in terms of youth engagement with the sport.