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Sunday 26 March 2017

Thierry Henry at centre of 'favouritism' row over FAW coaching badge qualification

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry is taking steps towards becoming a manager
Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry is taking steps towards becoming a manager

Mark Critchley

Thierry Henry is at the centre of a row over alleged favouritism after completing his Uefa A Licence with the Football Association of Wales (FAW).

The former Arsenal striker was awarded the qualification, which is required in order for coaches to work below top-flight level or at an academy, earlier this month.

However, according to a report by the Daily Mail, others studying with the FAW for the coaching badge believe that Henry was ‘fast-tracked’ and could not have completed all the requisite work in the short period of time he spent registered on the course.

“There was no way humanly possible Thierry had even completed his UEFA B licence and could have finished all his assessments and tasks on the A licence when everyone else participating on the course has not even had the chance,” said Will Foley, a former Swansea City, Cardiff City and Newport County player who now works as a coach.

It is estimated that the Uefa A Licence should take 180 hours of study over the course of a year to complete.

The likes of Jens Lehmann, Marcel Desailly, Roberto Martinez, Patrick Vieira and David Ginola have all also completed coaching badges under the stewardship of FAW’s technical director Osian Roberts in recent weeks.

“Where does it end with the Welsh FA?” Foley said to the Daily Mail. “Are they not worried that someone somewhere will start asking to see proof that all these top names are completing what is required by Uefa to fully pass the courses.

“They are quite openly putting certain chosen names through the courses without completing the so-called allotted number of hours which all the candidates have to be seen to be doing.

“The big names get an easy ride while the others have to do it the hard way.”

The Independent have approached the FAW for comment and are awaiting response.

Independent News Service

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