Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FIFA on Tuesday launched its first-ever global strategy for women’s football which charts the course for how the football motherbody will work with confederations and member associations, clubs and players, the media, fans and other stakeholders to realise the full potential that exists within the women’s game.
In a statement, Fifa said it strongly believes that women’s football brings one very important benefit to many young girls and women involved in the game which is empowerment.
It said encouraging empowerment through football, growing the game, getting more girls involved in it earlier and keeping women in football longer are all key elements of the strategy.
“As Fifa’s first female secretary general I am proud to launch our first-ever global strategy for women’s football. The women’s game is a top priority for Fifa and via our new strategy 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. 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,” said Fifa’s secretary general Fatma Samoura in a statement released on the football motherbody’s official website.
As part of its commitment to women’s support, Fifa established its first-ever Women’s Football Division in 2016 under chief women’s football officer Sarai Bareman. This Division will work closely with member associations around the world via workshops and special initiatives to assist 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.
Specifically, Fifa will double the number of female players to 60 million by 2026, raise the standards of women’s football clubs and leagues across all member associations, double the number of member associations that have organised youth leagues by 2026 in order to address the dropout rate and sustain girls’ participation in football, ensure that by 2022, all its member associations have developed comprehensive women’s football strategies, develop and implement a Football in Schools Programme and foster greater cooperation, education and advocacy for women’s football between Fifa, the confederations and the member associations.
“Tangible goals include, 100 percent of Fifa member associations to have at least one woman present on their executive committee by 2026, by 2022, at least one third of Fifa committee members will be women, every member association will dedicate at least one seat on its executive committee to representing the interests of women in football and women’s football and advance the professionalisation of the women’s game while ensuring that players are protected and have clear recognition for their profession at member association and confederation levels,” wrote Fifa in a statement.