Monday 27 February 2023, 20:00

Women’s football development on the agenda as Presidents Infantino and Brima meet

  • Gianni Infantino holds discussions with counterpart from the SLFA

  • President Thomas Brima provides an update on his country’s progress in the women’s game

  • The meeting took place in FIFA’s Paris bureau, France

The President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has travelled to Paris to meet with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, to provide an update on the remarkable progress made on women’s football development, and to identify further collaboration opportunities with FIFA in the future. Women’s football in Sierra Leone entered an exciting new era in October 2022, as the country’s Women's Premier League kicked off. More than three years had passed since Sierra Leone last had a women’s league in operation, when it was only a regional competition. The inauguration of the new competition meant that the African nation’s top 12 women’s teams would face each other home and away and fight it out for the right to become Sierra Leonean champions – a project made possible by FIFA Forward funding.

President Infantino said: “At FIFA we are committed developing football at all levels, and in every corner of the world. To hear the reports of the great work being carried out in Sierra Leone to ensure that women and girls across the country can have access to football, and can aspire to be the next football star, fills me with joy. The launch of the Women’s Premier League is a perfect example of what the FIFA Forward programme is for, and it was great to meet with President Brima in Paris to learn more about the progress they are making.” Speaking after the meeting, President Brima also spoke of his organisation’s willingness to further engage the FIFA Forward programme, which moves into its next phase in 2023 – as FIFA honours its commitment to bolster funding by almost 30%,, compared to the previous four-year cycle. “We are working with the Forward [Programme] Funds to develop infrastructure and the good thing is that, I’ve just got the confirmation, FIFA is going to help us with infrastructure, through the Forward Funds,” he said. “On our end, we are trying to play whatever tournaments we can. Last year, we played all FIFA and CAF-sanctioned tournaments. That is to say, we are making moves in the right direction.”

Women's football strategy

FIFA is working to empower girls and women, make football a sport for all and advocate against gender discrimination.

Enhance the Commercial Value

Shaping new revenue streams and optimising existing ones around the women’s game will allow expansion of development efforts.

Build the Foundations

Creating a more sophisticated women’s football ecosystem and encouraging leadership roles for women at every level will modernise management of the game.

Grow participation

Increasing the level of female participation in football all over the world, with the stated goal of having 60 million players by 2026.