3 July 2019 – While excitement is growing around the final round of matches of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFA has today taken two important steps for the continuous development of the women’s game beyond its flagship event. The first one was the inaugural meeting of the FIFA Professional Women’s Football Task Force today in Lyon ahead of the first semi-final of France 2019.
The objective of the Task Force is to bring together the main women’s football stakeholders to inform FIFA’s decision-making processes by identifying key areas and measures that can accelerate the future growth of the women’s professional game. Chaired by FIFA Council member Lydia Nsekera, the inaugural meeting included participants and representatives from member associations, confederations, leagues, clubs and players associations. The composition of the Task Force may evolve over time based on the expertise required within its work plan.
As a first step, all members were requested to identify their priority areas for the growth of the women’s 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 Lydia Nsekera.
As part of its overall Women’s Football Strategy and in order to gain crucial insight into the current status of women’s football, FIFA has also conducted and announced today a baseline survey with its 211 member associations, of which 198 participated.
The FIFA Women’s Football Survey 2019 provides a comprehensive picture of the current landscape of women’s football globally and will serve as a benchmarking tool for FIFA and its stakeholders to measure progress in the future.
In particular, the survey on women’s football covers everything from players and national teams, clubs and domestic competitions, to communications, marketing and operational structure. Some of the key findings include:
- 73% of FIFA’s member associations have an active women’s national team
- 76% of member associations have developed a women’s football strategy
- 3 million girls and women play organised football worldwide.
- The situation varies greatly from country to country with 9.5 million players in the US while most associations only have a few thousand female players
Other useful data is also included in the report, which will help to inform and tailor strategic initiatives linked the women’s football strategy.
“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.
Composition of the 1st meeting of the Professional Women’s Football Task Force
- Lydia Nsekera – FIFA Council Member, Burundi (Chair)
- Håkan Sjöstrand – MA General Secretary, Sweden (Vice-Chair):
- Julien Zylberstein – UEFA Chief Policy & Stakeholder Affairs Advisor in the President’s and Executive Office, France
- Patricia Rajeriarison – CAF Women’s Football Committee Member, Madagascar
- Lydia Wahlke – US Soccer Chief Legal Officer, USA
- Tracey Scott – A league and W-League General Manager, Australia
- Jean Michel Aulas – ECA Women’s Football Committee Chair, France
- Sun Wen – CFA Technical Director, China
- Jonas Baer-Hoffmann – FIFPro Secretary General of Division Europe, Germany
- Ivan Novella (not present in today’s meeting) – Development Director Colombian FA/Former CEO Dimayor League
- First meeting of Professional Women’s Football Task Force held in Lyon on Tuesday, 2 July
- FIFA publishes comprehensive global women’s football survey report