FIFA tweaking Women’s World League proposal to find a global balance

By Samindra Kunti in Brussels

August 28 – FIFA will launch a new proposal to revive the creation of a Women’s World League within the next year, according to the organisation’s head of women’s development and governance Emily Shaw. In 2018 the FIFA Council failed to approve the introduction of the new competition.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Women’s Football Summit’ in the Belgian capital, Shaw repeated Gianni Infantino’s June pledge that the world federation wants to put the idea of a Women’s World League back on the table, be it with some tweaks to the format that had originally been envisaged.

“FIFA is currently looking at adapting the original proposal and at some point in the near future will be putting forward a new proposal for a FIFA Women’s World League,” Shaw told Insideworldfootball. “We see it as very important, because we are seeing a growing gap between the European region and the rest, and that’s partially due to the lack of regular playing opportunities at national team level.

“The calendar in Europe is saturated, so we need to be wary about this. At the same time we are aware that the other regions require additional playing opportunities. It is about making sure that it fits within the needs of all our stakeholders, so it is an ambitious project.”

In March 2018, the FIFA Council blocked Infantino’s 2016 plans to launch a Women’s World League. The league had been proposed as an annual competition featuring 16 of the top national teams, plus four regional leagues and a system of promotion and relegation.

The FIFA president faced opposition from European council members over what they perceived to be unilateral action from Infantino. It was understood at the time that the idea was killed by European members who argued that the Women’s World League was presented as a fait accompli and that not enough detail had been provided beforehand.

“They [UEFA] are supportive of this and we have discussed it with all the European member associations,” said Shaw. “It is just a little bit of fine-tuning to find the right fit for the whole of Europe.”

Shaw believes that a new proposal for a Women’s World League is imminent, saying that “it will be in the short-term future, six months to one year approximately.”

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1603653838labto1603653838ofdlr1603653838owedi1603653838sni@o1603653838fni1603653838