Bax­ter, Tovey head­ing to Fifa foot­ball con­fer­ence

Gath­er­ing to dis­cuss lat­est trends in game

Sunday World - - Sport - By Nick Said

Bafana Bafana coach Stu­art Bax­ter and SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Neil Tovey are sched­uled to at­tend the Fifa foot­ball con­fer­ence in Lon­don later this month where the lat­est trends in the game will be dis­cussed.

The pair have been in­vited‚ along with their coun­ter­parts at all 211 Fifa mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions‚ to the Septem­ber 23 event that will be at­tended by the likes of World Cup-win­ning coach Di­dier Deschamps‚ Eng­land boss Gareth South­gate and Ger­man tac­ti­cian Joachim Löw.

The coaches and tech­ni­cal di­rec­tors will be given a pre­sen­ta­tion by Fifa’s tech­ni­cal study­group on­theirview ofthe World Cup in Rus­sia‚ led in part by for­mer Bafana coach Car­los Alberto Par­reira. “The con­fer­ence is a unique oc­ca­sion and we have to make the most of it‚” Par­reira said.

“Shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and ex­pe­ri­ences is vi­tal to the con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment of foot­ball‚ and there is no one bet­ter than coaches when it comes to giv­ing opin­ions,” he said.

“The World Cup is al­ways an op­por­tu­nity to as­sess the state of foot­ball and new trends‚ the new things that come in and should be used again.

“The peo­ple who took part in it have some­thing to say about the prob­lems they faced‚ the things that worked and what they felt and saw. And the peo­ple who weren’t there can pick up that in­for­ma­tion. It’s a re­ally valu­able di­a­logue be­cause ev­ery­one ben­e­fits from it.”

Par­reira said he is loathe to com­pare eras be­cause foot­ball is anevolv­ing sport and stay­ing up to date with trends is vi­tal.

“You can’t com­pare dif­fer­ent eras of the game and­say‚ it was a more beau­ti­ful game be­fore or it was more tac­ti­cal be­fore. There’s no such thing as more beau­ti­ful foot­ball or uglier foot­ball. Foot­ball changes.

“Pos­ses­sion of the ball is no longer a must. The teams [at the last World Cup] were more con­cerned with play­ing in smaller spa­ces‚ in stay­ing com­pact and get­ting into the op­po­si­tion half as quickly as pos­si­ble‚ and they won as teams‚ with in­di­vid­ual tal­ents play­ing for their teams.”

Safa has con­firmed that Bax­ter and Tovey are sched­uled to travel to the con­fer­ence.

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