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I love the development that is constantly updating for the future generation and providing the youth with all the support

Nawaf Khalil Ibrahem Al-Hakeem

Director Secretary of the Football Development Department

Qatar Football Association

× The interview with Nawaf Khalil Ibrahem Al-Hakeem was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

1Tell us about your role as Director Secretary of the Football Development Department at Qatar Football Association. What does a typical day look like for you?

My role is to carry out football administration duties which include reviewing and registering more than 1500 applications as new members of Qatari Clubs.

My responsibilities include:

Initiating the filing process for applicants by critically reviewing applicant content details, entering data, and scanning documents.

I am also responsible for creating outcome reports and updating our senior managers on a daily and weekly basis.

My other duties include assisting with the Clubs operations, ensuring policies, procedures, and regulations of the various football authorities are implemented and in line with best practice; all relevant paperwork, submissions, and surveys are completed on time.

Some of my accomplishments:

  1. Reports have proven we achieved 3 times winning AFC president recognition award for grassroots football
  2. Coaching convention in Pro level (only QFA, Japan FA and Chinese FA has this in Asia)
  3. Youth Elite 3 stars for Aspire as the first academy got 3 stars level in Asia and other projects.

A typical day looks like this:

  • Receive and start files for applicants
  • Critically reviewing the content and details
  • Scanning documents, entering data
  • Following up with applicants if needed
  • Act as primary contact for applicants regarding the application process, incomplete files and addressing questions and concerns
  • Attend meetings with my teammates and senior manager to discuss operational plans and updates
  • Compile data and update dashboard repot that will be shared with senior managers

2What do you look for when reviewing new applications and finding coaches and project staff to support development programs?

Applications are always about the supporting documents, qualifications, and AFC standards that we are following.

As for project staff, I will be always looking for people with passion. Passion is very important in keeping the momentum going.

I also look for people with the ability to deliver the content, because learning is one thing, but being able to deliver this knowledge to others is a different talent.

3You’ve been working in football development since 2015. Tell us about your passion for football and why development, specifically youth development in sport is so important to you.

This is probably not surprising, I don't only work in football but I am also a big fan!

I love the development that is constantly updating for the future generation and providing the youth with all the support.

Also, the teamwork and the different ideas supporting the youth and grassroots programs, including coaches expanding in different countries where they plan for 5-10 years ahead.

Moreover, we are constantly making sure football is being developed in many countries by also providing them with the appropriate materials.

This played a major role in my life knowing other children are being introduced to a healthy lifestyle and keeping football alive.

4All of your current projects include using football as a vehicle for social change, inclusivity and community advancement. In your experience, what is the key to creating a program that will have a lasting impression on the participants?

Football has brought many people together and is a great form of entertainment.

It is a very popular sport and there is no age limit.

The key to creating these programs is to bring children, adults, seniors...etc, together.

A crucial part of leaving a lasting impression is to provide countries with the equipment needed. It helps us stay in shape, live a healthy lifestyle, and most importantly keeping our youth out of trouble but allowing them to have fun at the same time.

5Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World Cup. How do you think this event will impact future football development initiatives in Qatar and what is your role in preparing for the event?

Qatar will be hosting the World Cup 2022 and it will be phenomenal as the country is working very hard for the World Cup!

There is an amazing team working on every detail possible and are all very well experienced.

Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country to host a World Cup so of course, we have the government's full support.

I’ve had many experiences in training site operations, from meeting team members to organizing security, organizing tournaments, making sure all needs and regulations are being met, and so on.

6You have many responsibilities outside of the projects you organize, including reviewing thousands of applications and registering new staff. How do you balance all of your task and stay organized?

Organization and time management is the key to balancing so many responsibilities and duties.

I always build my team members to help and support and that’s how we try and keep on a good vibe.

I am very passionate about football and as hard as it is sometimes that I can't spend enough time at home, many QFA members become like family.

Emma Greer Emma's Final Thoughts

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