June 6 – Concacaf have announced plans for the development of the women’s game in its region – under the Concacaf W moniker – with the objective of providing every girl in their confederation footprint with an opportunity to play football.
Speaking at Concacaf’s extraordinary congress in Paris earlier this week, Concacaf president Victor Montagliani said that “we must stop thinking in stereotypes” and that “in our region we have the opportunity to be the leaders in the development of the women’s game”.
Handing over to general secretary Phillippe Moggio, he outlined the “aim to create sustainable pathways for women players and coaches”, pointing out that the first steps have already been taken with the U-15, U-18 and Women’s Championships in 2018 that saw a “78 matches, 59 teams and more than 2,000 female athletes in our competitions.”
Concacaf set up a dedicated women’s football department, led by former Canadian international Karina LeBlanc, last year and she took the member associations through the steps taken so far and challenged them to embrace Concacaf W – it was upbeat, positive, believable and, for a 90%+ middle aged male audience, inspirational.
“Concacaf has a massive opportunity to grow the game. As a former player, I have seen the extraordinary ability of football to change lives and empower human beings,” said LeBlanc. “Our vision is to improve the lives of women by working together with our 41 Member Associations on three main objectives: changing perceptions (women’s football is too often seen as a cost and not an opportunity), building sustainable foundations (consistent pathways are needed and the recognition that one size doesn’t fit all) and growing participation (do you have enough women involved in your sport in each of your countries.”
Concacaf W is intended to be more than just a strategy. LeBlanc said that the plan is to build a commercial platform for the brand that will provide tools that will help leaders in the member associations communicate their activity, promote the sport and engage more people.
She also said a regional women’s club championship is in development with plans for club licensing regulations and to incentivise clubs with mens and womens teams.
“I challenge you as a leader in your country to think about what you are doing in your country for your young girls,” she said.
She concluded saying: “If not you then who, if not now then when.” The origins of the quote can be debated, the sentiment and challenge is unequivocal. ‘Go Karina’ as the North Americans would say.
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