Thursday 10 August 2023, 07:00

Women’s football growth in the spotlight as Secretary General headlines inspirational event

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura has headlined a programme of dynamic speakers at an inspiring event exploring the changing trends in women’s sport. Presented by the NSW Government and Football Australia, ‘The Winning Playbook’ was held on Wednesday at Luna Park located almost under the span of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ breaking barriers and achieving new landmarks, the programme offered inspiration for the many international, local and grassroots attendees to further grow the game. Among some of the notable speakers were FIFA Technical Study Group member and FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis, who spoke on leadership and team-building, while Stephanie Rudnick, Head of PR at Angel City presented on the methods that the innovative female-led Los Angeles-based club have implemented in order to grow revenues through innovative marketing strategies. Legacy post-Women’s World Cup was front and centre in an invigorating discussion involving Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Women's Football Officer; Sarah Walsh, Football Australia Head of Women’s Football, Women’s World Cup Legacy & Inclusion; and former long-serving Canada goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.

Among the more poignant moments during the event, attendees were asked to make a pledge about what they will do to keep the momentum of women’s sport going. It was a small act but indicative of the energy and passion in the room. The packed schedule concluded with the Secretary General discussing the power of sport’s ability to unite people around the world and her trailblazing role in helping to achieve unprecedented women’s football growth.

The Winning Playbook -  FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023

“We definitely want to get more women involved in the men’s game and, in many ways, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has underscored the immeasurable value women bring to football,” said the FIFA Secretary General. “The whole of football benefits from greater representation of women at senior level because it can draw on many more valuable perspectives, experiences and backgrounds, and be as inclusive and diverse as possible worldwide. “From FIFA’s perspective, revenue will continue to be reinvested in women’s football so we can keep growing the game. And hopefully, soon, people will stop comparing this tournament to the men’s World Cup. “In the seven years since I commenced with football’s world governing body, we have moved mountains, but there’s still very much to be done. It has been a bumpy, but also very exciting, journey, and I am very proud of what we have achieved.”