FIFA’s European-weighted women’s task force holds first powwow

July 4 – FIFA has held the first meeting of its Professional Women’s Football Task Force which aims to bring together women’s football stakeholders to influence decisions on the growth of the women’s professional game. 

“We want to explore the business, economic and regulatory side of the women’s game in consultation with key stakeholders. Today, a number of very interesting topics were presented and discussed. We can see that the priorities vary greatly depending on where people are coming from. So it will be the job of this Task Force to define common objectives that can make a real and lasting difference for the good of the women’s game,” said Task Force chairwoman Lydia Nsekera.

The meeting took place in Lyon ahead of the first semi-final World Cup and came at the same time that FIFA released its Women’s Football Survey 2019 which records women’s football activity globally and will become a benchmarking tool for FIFA and its stakeholders to measure progress in the future. 

The survey found that there are 13.3 million women and girls playing organised football worldwide but 9.5 million of them are in the US. It also found that 76% of national associations had developed a women’s football strategy. The room for growth is clearly huge.

At the core of FIFA’s competition strategy for women is the development of a global Nations League. The survey found that 73% of national associations had an active women’s national team.

“If we take the development of women’s football seriously, an important step is to know and fully understand on an ongoing basis how the landscape of women’s football is evolving globally. Now with the FIFA Women’s Football Survey 2019, we have a clear picture of the state of women’s football in each country, which will play a vital role in guiding and defining where we set our priorities and to ensure a strong and bright future for the women’s game”, said FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman.

The women’s task force has a strong European bias with four of the 10 members. The AFC and CAF have two members each while perhaps surprising Concacaf only has one member, as does Conmebol.

FIFA Professional Women’s Football Task Force members:

Lydia Nsekera, FIFA Council Member, Burundi 
Håkan Sjöstrand, Swedish FA General Secretary 
Julien Zylberstein, UEFA Head of Stakeholders Affairs, France 
Patricia Rajeriarison, CAF Women’s Football Committee, Madagascar 
Sun Wen, Chinese FA Women’s Technical Director 
Lydia Wahlke, US Soccer Chief Legal Officer 
Ivan Novella (not present in today’s meeting) Development Director Colombian FA/Former CEO Dimayor League
Tracey Scott, A league and W-League General Manager, Australia 
Jean Michel Aulas, ECA Women’s Football Committee Chair, France 
Caroline Jönsson, FIFPro Board member and Chair of the women’s committee, Sweden

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