Cote d’Ivoire, FC Barcelona and Manchester City legend Yaya Toure has supported FIFA’s Football for Schools program launched at the SAFA Technical Center in Johannesburg South on Friday.

Toure, who is an ambassador for the program, is also a product of soccer schools in Ivory Coast, where he came through the Asec Mimosas academy in Abidjan.

The 39-year-old, who is now a youth coach at Tottenham Hotspur where he is in charge of the U16s, says the talent in Africa has never been in doubt but has been let down by those in power who have failed to deliver on their empty promises .

“I believe we have the quality and we have good young players in Africa, but if they are not surrounded by everything they need to be among the best and well developed in the football industry, it will be difficult [to make it there later]Toure said.

“Some of our people, I don’t want to name them, politicians and people at the top, they said and always wrote on paper what we should do, which is really good, but in a practical way there is nothing, and that is the problem with him.

“I think that there is an initiative from FIFA now [something] I’ve been waiting for a very long time and that’s why I’m so excited to take part and join [in this program]. I think we’re looking forward to it, and it’s going to be something serious.”

A total of 52 football educators from across South Africa, including the School of Skills coaches, received their certificates from the three-day FIFA Capacity Building Course this week.

Toure still hopes that from these programs the African country will one day be able to realize the dream of winning the world title.

“We as Africans, now because I have retired from football – now I am going to be a different department in football, I have always dreamed of one African country or team winning the World Cup, that is our dream,” he added.

“If you have all the support and all the equipment and things to develop our young lads to be the best footballers tomorrow, I think soon we might have a Ballon d’Or winner one day.”

Velile Mnyanda

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