FIFA wants more women soc­cer play­ers

Shanghai Daily - - SPORTS - SOC­CER (AFP)

FIFA, the gov­ern­ing body of world foot­ball, wants to dou­ble the num­ber of women play­ers, say­ing yes­ter­day that it has set out “con­crete projects” to achieve that goal.

FIFA is aim­ing for 60 mil­lion women foot­ballers world­wide by 2026, while pro­fes­sion­al­iz­ing 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, said.

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 com­mer­cial­ize 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.”

“We are a small team and we are here to pro­vide the ex­per­tise and to drive the project,” Bare­man said.

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

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,” she added.

“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.”

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