FIFA 11 for Health

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“FIFA 11 for Health” is a football-based programme for children aged 10 – 13 years; its aims are to encourage physical activity, to increase knowledge about communicable and non-communicable diseases and to develop healthy behaviours. The programme is based on 11 football skills and 11 simple health messages.

The programme has a sound scientific background and was developed after an analysis of the risk factors responsible for the most common communicable and non-communicable diseases, published by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The programme is delivered in
a manner that is age- and gender-appropriate, culturally sensitive, theoretically grounded, engaging and sustainable. Each health message is linked to a football skill, and each health message is supported by a prominent footballer who demonstrates the link between the health message and the football skill.

FIFA 11 for Health

Session structure

Session“Play Fair” health message“Play Football” skillRepresentative
1 Play football Warming up Javier Hernández
2 Respect girls and women Passing Diego Forlán
3 Protect yourself from HIV and STDs Heading Neymar da Silva
4 Avoid drugs, alcohol and tobacco Dribbling Cristiano Ronaldo
5 Control your weight* Controlling* Radamel Falcao
6 Wash your hands Defending Carles Puyol
7 Drink clean water Trapping Marta Vieira da Silva
8 Eat a balanced diet Building fitness Lionel Messi
9 Get vaccinated Shooting Didier Drogba
10 Take your prescribed medication Goalkeeping Gianluigi Buffon
11 Fair play Teamwork Vicente del Bosque

The “FIFA 11 for Health” programme comprises eleven 90-minute sessions, each consisting of two 45-minute halves. The first half is called “Play Football” and focuses on teaching young people skills related to various aspects of football. The second half is called “Play Fair” and focuses on health education and learning healthy behaviours.

(In countries where malaria is a major problem, an alternative Session 5 (“Use a treated bed net” and “Shielding”) is used.)

FIFA 11 for Health


The impact of “FIFA 11 for Health” was firstly evaluated in South Africa in 2009. The programme was then further evaluated in different countries in 2010: (a) in Zimbabwe, using the same strategy as the pilot project in South Africa; and (b) in Mauritius in collaboration with the national football association and with the support of the Ministries of Health, Education and Sport. These two countries provided contrasting socio- economic and health conditions and a range of values for important health indicators. Significant increases in children’s health knowledge were again observed in both countries.

Increase in children’s knowledge in South Africa; %

Change in health knowledge in Mauritius (blue) and Zimbabwe (grey); %

FIFA 11 for Health


Based on the positive outcomes from the evaluation studies, further “FIFA 11 for Health” pilot projects and implementations have been completed in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The first countrywide implementation of the programme was successfully completed in 2011 in Mauritius in collaboration with the Mauritius Football Association and Government Ministries. Further countrywide implementations have subsequently taken place in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Evaluations in Colombia (Spanish), Brazil (Portuguese), Madagascar (French) and Myanmar (Burmese) have shown that the programme can be translated into other languages and achieve results equivalent to those achieved in the original English format.

The aim of FIFA is to introduce the programme into 100 countries by 2019.

By 2015, the results of implementations in nine countries, performed with almost 9,000 children, had been published in international sports medicine and health education journals.

Change in health knowledge; %

FIFA 11 for Health


For more informations about ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ in a specific country, click on the desired country (use the list for very small countries e.g. Martinique)

FIFA 11 for Health Placeholder
FIFA 11 for Health



Harnesses the worldwide popularity of football

Increases knowledge and awareness of health issues at low cost

Communicates simple health messages in an age- and gender- appropriate way

Is easily adaptable to meet national differences

Has low material requirements

Improves public health through children teaching the health messages to their parents

Is engaging because of the fame of the football ambassadors supporting the programme

African legend teaches important lessons

Samuel Eto'o



More informations about the FIFA 11 for Health programme on

Most important


Scientific peer-reviewed papers

  • Fuller C.W., Junge A., DeCelles J., Donald J., Jankelowitz R., Dvořák J. ’Football for Health’ – a football-based health promotion programme for children in South Africa: a parallel cohort study. Br J Sport Med 2010; 44: 546-554
  • Fuller C.W., Junge A., Dorasami R., DeCelles J., Dvořák J. ’11 for Health’,
a football-based health education programme for children: a two-cohort study in Mauritius and Zimbabwe. Br J Sport Med 2011; 45: 612-618
  • Dvořák J., Fuller C.W., Junge A. Planning and implementing a nationwide football-based health-education programme. Br J Sports Med 2012; 46(1): 6-10
  • Fuller C.W., Junge A., Amaning J., Kaijage R., Kaputa J., Magwende G., Pambo P., Dvořák J. ‘FIFA 11 for Health’: implementation in five countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Health Educ J 2015; 74(1): 103-119
  • Fuller C.W., Thiele E., Flores M., Junge A., Netto D., Dvořák J. A successful nationwide implementation of the ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme in Brazilian elementary schools. Br J Sports Med 2015; 49(9), 623-629