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FIFA media training course gets underway in Dakar

Apr 19, 2010, 3:21 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh in Dakar

The week-long AFP-FIFA media professional training course, which attracted at least 50 out of 53 selected African countries, including The Gambia is currently gaining momentum in different parts of the continent.

The high-profile media course which is being organised by Africa French Press (AFP) one of the 3 biggest media agencies and the world football governing body FIFA is part of FIFA's win in Africa with Africa Development Initiative, which was launched earlier in 2009 after South Africa was chosen to host the 2010 World Cup for the first time in the annals of the continent.

Three (3) Gambian journalists, including this reporter are currently in Dakar, Senegal to complete the second and final phase of the training course in preparation for the world's most prestigious tournament (FIFA World Cup), slated for 11th June to 11th July.

A good number of journalists drawn from different parts of West Africa, namely Nigeria, Chad, The Gambia, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, among others, on Saturday converged at Airport Hotel in Dakar to kick-start the practical course under the instruction of Ryland James, a German National, who travelled to Dakar under the direction of AFP, where he works as sports editor.

The first day of an intensive training session was entirely dedicated to the count down to the World Cup, as well as football writing which gave the participants the unique opportunity to learn about publishable stories for their various newspapers before the start of the big event.

This, according to the course director, must include the history and preview of the tournament, the positive impact the tournament could bring to the host country and the continent at large, spotlight on one of the biggest African stars, including Didier Drogba, Samauel Eto'o, and Michael Essien, who could all cause the biggest upset for so-called favourites.

The first day of the training session which lasted 12 hours gave the participants the unique opportunity to write stories on live television coverage of international matches, including Chelsea's disappointing 2-1 lost to London rivals Tottenham at

White Hart Lane
on Saturday evening.

This is expected to be followed by the preview of the Champions league semi-final first leg clash on Sunday between two reigning champions Inter Milan and Barcelona on Tuesday night

The team is on Monday expected to travel to conduct a training exercise in the most popular football school in Dakar, founded by former Arsenal hero, Patrick Vieira, which is 60 kilometers away from Dakar.

The academy is located in the southern part of Dakar, called Diombiars Saly with an impressive number of youngsters trying their luck in order to pave the way to excel at the international level.