Saturday 05 August 2023, 08:00

Empowering women’s football at the heart of Angel City Equity Summit

The FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura joined a host of football luminaries at the Angel City Equity Summit delivering the keynote closing address at the Sydney Opera House. Backed by a host of well-known benefactors and investors, Angel City FC has a mission of not only bringing to life a professional women’s football team in Los Angeles, but also advancing the cause of gender equality.

Angel City forum at the Sydney Opera House

The club enjoyed immediate success delivering record crowds and a greatly heightened profile to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) since its opening campaign last year. While Sydney harbour sparkled once again in unseasonal warm winter sun on Friday, the atmosphere inside the iconic building on Bennelong Point was one of collegiality and working towards a common goal. Over 100 distinguished guests from around the globe were on hand to hear and discuss subjects including the impact of sport, pay equity and leadership.

An impressive roster of renowned speakers was kick-started by Angel City ‘Fearless Founders’, Julie Uhrman, Kara Nortman and Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman. Among just some of the other forum participants were Jane Fernandez, 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Chief Operating Officer, Australia; World Cup-winner Cindy Parlow and The Hon Anika Wells MP - Australia Minister for Aged Care & Sport. “It was incredibly inspiring to look around the room at the quality of people in attendance,” said the FIFA Secretary General. “I know that the ripple effects of our conversations will spark greater societal change for many years to come.

“I have deep admiration and solidarity for Angel City and what they are seeking to achieve. I also believe that football can be a driver to make the world a better place, and is a powerful vehicle to spread messages about gender equality. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that the women’s game continues to be used as a force to make the world a better place. This was one of my main motivators in accepting the offer to join FIFA in 2016. For me, it was the ultimate opportunity to change mindsets and take big steps towards achieving equality. “Football is also a way to really fight gender bias and to promote female empowerment – especially in countries that are still to this day, male-dominated. That is why, at FIFA, accelerating the growth of women’s football is our absolute priority and this is something I am deeply proud of.”