FIFA selects Guam’s Awa for Technical Leadership Diploma course

FIFA selects Guam’s Awa for Technical Leadership Diploma course

[May 18, 2023 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil] FIFA selected Guam Football Association Technical Director Ross Awa as part of the 25 participants for its prestigious new Technical Leadership Diploma course launched in Brazil earlier this month.

Awa joined other selected Technical Leaders from Member Associations and Confederations from around the globe at the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) Training Complex in Rio de Janeiro for block one of the 18 month-long course.

“I am privileged to be part of the inaugural FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma in Brazil, alongside distinguished technical leaders from around the world,” said Awa. “I had the opportunity to explore the Brazilian culture and their football, while highlighting the importance of a national playing identity, strategic visioning, studying various member association case studies, and leadership. Through these experiences, I’ve gained insight into the values and best practices that make successful football organizations. From domain knowledge to strategic planning, every aspect contributes to a team’s success.

Group of people in picturesque background in Brazil

Ross Awa, center in black FIFA shirt, joins other participants of the FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma Course for a group photo with Brazil’s Pão de Açúcar in the background. FIFA selected Awa as one of its first 25 participants of the new prestigious course. Contributed photo / FIFA

“The Technical Leadership Diploma provides a collaborative and unique experience through interaction with technical experts, engaging presentations, and practical tasks. This program offers encouraging perspectives and opportunities for growth, which will undoubtedly provide valuable support to become a global leader in football,” Awa added.

The FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma aims to become the ‘globally recognized qualification’ for Technical Leaders working in the game and will prepare participants for the distinct challenges and opportunities faced by a Technical Leader within a Member Association. Five core domain areas will be covered:

  • Technical Leadership
  • High Performance
  • Coach Education
  • Amateur Football
  • Management

“On behalf of Guam Football Association, I would like to commend Ross for his selection to FIFA’s new Technical Leadership Diploma course,” said Valentino San Gil, GFA President. “His selection to the inaugural program out of hundreds of candidates from all of FIFA’s Member Associations across the globe speaks volumes of his commitment and passion for the development of the game, and particularly football development in Guam. I look forward to tracking his progress in the course and supporting the application of concepts and best practices learned to ultimately propel football in Guam upward.”

Following the six-day workshop held in Brazil, the 25 participants will begin their own personal projects focused on their own unique context as well as following a program of online learning. The cohort will meet again for six days in Japan in December with two further face-to-face events to follow in 2024.

“We are delighted to welcome Ross Awa onto our new Technical Leadership Diploma,” said Steven Martens, FIFA Director of Global Football Development. “The role of the Technical Leader is crucial to the future of football and one we believe should have greater recognition.

“Over the last few years, FIFA has been working closely with Member Associations to develop a number of programs, such as the Talent Development Scheme (TDS). The successful implementation of these programs relies on the leadership of Technical Leaders. So, naturally, we want to support, develop and work alongside Technical Leaders to help them become the very best they can be and, as a result, help develop the game,” added Martens.

‘Globally recognized qualification’ for Technical Leaders

The FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma is the first qualification of its kind and aims to become the ‘globally recognized qualification’ for Technical Leaders working in the game.

“Currently, there is no single award or accreditation that allows an individual to become a Technical Leader in a Member Association,” explained Jamie Houchen, FIFA Head of Technical Leadership. “If a Member Association is looking to hire a Technical Leader, there is no benchmark for quality. We believe the FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma will become the globally recognized qualification for Technical Leaders and produce the very highest quality of graduates to lead football around the world.”

All 25 participants listed below received a personal invite to join the program:

Ricardo Leao – Brazil

Aabed Alansari – Bahrain

Ross Awa – Guam

Indra Sjafri – Indonesia

Bassem Mohamad – Lebanon

Carles Romagosa – Thailand

Bhekisisa Boy Mkhonta – Eswatini

Benjamin Kumwenda – Malawi

Jaqueline Shipanga – Namibia

Walter Steenbok – South Africa

Ali Mwebe – Uganda

Lyson Zulu – Zambia

Iván Novella – Colombia

Anton Corneal – Trinidad and Tobago

Luis Castro – Argentina

Stipe Pletikosa – Croatia

Kay Cossington – England

Janno Kivisild – Estonia

Marians Pahars – Latvia

Diana Bulgaru – Moldova

Andrew Gould – Scotland

Bai Lili – Asian Football Confederation (AFC)

Jayne Ludlow – Manchester City Women

Patricia Gonzalez – FIFA

Buman-Uchral Bold – Mongolia

For more information about the FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma visit the FIFA Training Centre:

Guam’s Ross Awa, standing eighth from right in black FIFA shirt, joins a group photo with football legends from Brazil (Mauro Silva – FIFA World Cup champion 1994, Julian Benetton – FIFA World Cup champion 2002, and Formiga – Brazil Women’s National team player in seven FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments and seven Olympic Games) and other participants of the FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma Course at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Awa is one of 25 selected worldwide for the new, prestigious course offered by FIFA. Contributed photo / FIFA