October 10 – FIFA has launched a major initiative to expand the women’s game worldwide with the unveiling of the governing body’s first-ever ‘global strategy’ for the women’s game, with the aim of creating an international women’s club competition and doubling the participation of women in the game to 60 million by 2026.
With next year’s flagship Women’s World Cup in France approaching rapidly and Uruguay staging the U-17 Women’s World Cup in November, FIFA is banging the drum harder than ever for the women’s game as the governing body seeks to capitalise on its fast growing popularity.
“The women’s game is a top priority,” said FIFA’s secretary general Fatma Samoura. “We will work hand-in-hand with our 211 member associations around the world to increase grassroots participation, enhance the commercial value of the women’s game and strengthen the structures surrounding women’s football to ensure that everything we do is sustainable and has strong results.”
FIFA is understood to be keen on launching a new women’s club competition, a ‘Women’s World League.’ The governing body is also contemplating youth development tournaments and a FIFA women’s futsal competition as a route to grow and expand the women’s game.
These future plans must contribute to FIFA’s aim of doubling the number of member associations that have organised youth leagues for female players by 2026. Other goals include ensuring all member associations have at least one woman on their executive committee by the same year, and that by 2022, at least one third of FIFA committee members are women.
The 60 million participation number is a big target but Samoura was confident that the strategy would achieve that objective. “Most importantly it will make football more accessible to girls and women and encourage female empowerment, a subject of great importance, now more than ever before,” she said.
FIFA established its first-ever Women’s Football Division in 2016 which, under chief women’s football officer Sarai Bareman, will lead the new initiative working closely with MAs via workshops to help them in “bringing together key stakeholders to discuss, develop and implement their respective women’s football strategies and to ensure the greatest impact possible of their efforts to develop and grow the women’s game,” said a FIFA press release.
Contact the writer of this story Samndra Kunti at moc.l1540309175labto1540309175ofdlr1540309175owedi1540309175sni@o1540309175fni1540309175