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Fifa seek to double number of women footballers by 2026

Fifa is aiming for 60 million women footballers worldwide, while professionalising clubs and national leagues.

USA lift the World Cup trophy in 2015 after beating Japan in the final in Vancouver.
USA lift the World Cup trophy in 2015 after beating Japan in the final in Vancouver.
Image: Vaughn Ridley

WORLD FOOTBALL’S GOVERNING body Fifa wants to double the number of women players, saying on Wednesday that it has set out “concrete projects” to achieve that goal.

Fifa is aiming for 60 million women footballers worldwide by 2026, while professionalising clubs and national leagues.

“The three overriding objectives that we have are: increasing participation, enhancing the commercial value and building the foundations,” Sarai Bareman, Fifa’s Chief Woman Football Officer, told AFP.

She said one aim is “developing the coaches, the referees, the administration, the people who are around the women’s game in order that everything we do can be sustainable and have a strong structure.”

She said Fifa wanted change off the field as well, “bringing more women into the decision making body.”

She said that increasing revenue was an important part of the strategy.

If we are really able to commercialise women’s football, that will help us a lot in terms of overcoming some of this resources that exist within the structure of the women’s game.”

Asked about the budget and staff dedicated to the project, Bareman said: “We are a small team and we are here to provide the expertise and to drive the project.

“The entire organisation of FIFA is responsible for implementing this strategy.”

(SP)RUSSIA-SAINT PETERSBURG-SOCCER-FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP-PRESS CONFERENCE Fifa Secretary General, Fatma Samoura. Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

She went on to praise Fifa general secretary Fatma Samoura and president Gianni Infantino.

“Fatma Samoura, our first ever female general secretary, gave me amazing support.

“Gianni Infantino, a father of four daughters, is very big on promoting and developing women’s football.”

In a video Fifa posted online, Infantino said: “We have to do more, because it’s not enough. We need to turn to the next level, we need to have a strategy to do that.”

© – AFP 2018

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