“Football for All in Vietnam” project in Thua Thien Hue province: 15 years of counting smiles

As a cooperation between the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) and the Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF), the “Football for All in Vietnam” project started in 2001 in Hanoi. Due to a lack of space for proper pitches, the project moved to Thua Thien Hue province in 2003.

Since 2003, FFAV has been establishing football clubs and has established 216 clubs in Thua Thien Hue province with the participation of over 19.000 students in primary and secondary schools; 50% being girls. Over the year, the Norwegian Football Federation has sponsored 89 million Vietnam Dong (3.8 million USD) to organize a great number of Fun Football Festivals; Football Schools; provided football clubs with necessary equipment; organized a wide varieties of training courses on technical and life skills expertise; buildt 33 football pitches for the football clubs.

Through promoting non-competitive grassroots football, FFAV has educated students on football, life skills, stimulated their interests in going to school, and lowered the rate of students dropping out of school in remote areas. After the handover process, Department of Education and Training in Thua Thien Hue will take over and continue to replicate the successful model.


A Fun Football Festival in Thuy Phu Secondary school, Huong Thuy town.

From the grassroots football foundation that FFAV has been building, many young football players with great potential emerged even from the remote areas in Thua Thien Hue. 5 athletes in the National Team and 7 female football players currently playing in Than Quang Ninh FC used to happily join Fun Football Festivals and grew their passion for football here.More than 60 football clubs from other cities and provinces in Vietnam followed the model of football clubs in Thua Thien Hue. We believe that this is the solid foundation needed for the general development of football in Vietnam.


Mr. Pham Van Hung, Director of Thua Thien Hue Department of Education and Training giving his speech at the Conference

The Evaluation Conference for the 2003 – 2018 period, took place in the afternoon of the 27th October. The conference emphasized the successful model of sustainable school-based grassroots football clubs with the slogan “Count smiles, not goals”. The conference with the participation of representatives from International level such as Norway Football Federation, representatives from Central levels, Ministry of Education and Training Vietnam Football Federation; People Committee, and other Departments and Non-Governmental Organizations throughout Hue province. The objectives of the Conference were to evaluate the process of implementing sustainable football club models at schools, and to come up with the final plans for organizing football and life-skill activities for children after 2018.


An overview of the Conference

At the Conference, Mr. Le Khanh Tuan, the former Vice Director of Thua Thien Hue Department of Education and Training, former Head of the provincial Management Board from 2003-2010, former Vice Financial Plan Department, Ministry of Education and Training shared: “15 years went by really fast. I am one of the first people to connect and work with our Norwegian friends to establish the project. FFAV is not really a big project but the effects the project has brought about are significant. FFAV introduced a model which is suitable and economically feasible for schools (small expenses but big impacts). On the occasion of this event, I want to convey a message: FFAV is handing over its project, not ending it!”


The Old Brigade of the project

In the morning of the same day of the conference, Thua Thien Hue Department of Education and Training and FFAV had a site visit to a Fun Football Festival in Thuy Phu Secondary school. This is a regular footballing activity, that takes place at schools, as well as at district – and provincial – levels in the frame of the project.

Some highlighted images at the Evaluation Conference period 2003 – 2018:


Mr. Dang Phuoc My, Vice Director of Thua Thien Hue Department of Education and Training reporting at the conference


Mr. Anders Hasselgard, Head of International Development Cooperation, Norway Football Federation


A musical performance at the conference


Mr. Ngu Duy Anh, Head of Physical Education Department, Ministry of Education and Training answering the broadcasting team



Fun Football Festival at Thuy Phu Secondary School.

Nguyen Quoc Si – Thua Thien Hue Department of Education and Training