ZURICH, Switzerland—In 1999, FIFA introduced its Goal Program, which enables beneficiary member associations to implement projects designed to develop soccer in their respective countries. One of these countries is Armenia.
The former Soviet state set the bar high with its sporting infrastructure during the 1960s and 1970s, but since the country became independent in 1991, the Armenian Football Association has been plagued by financial difficulties, which have also affected the quality of soccer development.
The existing infrastructure and the quality of coaching have proven to be the major obstacles, with the development of young talent being the biggest casualty. For the Armenian Football Association, and indeed for every club, youth development is a fundamental aspect and one that lays the groundwork for a successful national team.