Friday 05 October 2018, 08:17

Peru launches the first FIFA Girls Academy

  • Development centres to open in four regions across Peru

  • Peruvian FA’s support for women’s football crucial for project

  • Aims to uncover and develop talent from grassroots level

The Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) has given women’s football in Peru a considerable boost with the launch of the FIFA Girls Academy project, which was unveiled in Lima on Wednesday 3 October.

The aim of this initiative is to discover and develop the most talented players in Peru, with the end goal of them eventually representing the national team.

The CONMEBOL Development Leagues is where the 1,955 players between the ages of 11 and 16.

Information on the FIFA Girls Academy Project:

  • Four development centres will be opened in Lima, Trujillo, Cusco and Arequipa

  • 160 players are expected to join the academies

  • Players will train twice a week for nine months of the year

  • There will be two age groups: U-14 and U-16.

“We’re very happy to announce the launch of this first academy in Peru, which also coincides with new coaching staff joining the national teams,” said Patricia Gonzalez, Women's Football Technical Development Manager at FIFA. “This will allow for consistency in approach across age groups, meaning that the players will receive the best preparation with future competitive internationals in mind,” she added. “What’s more, these academies will provide players with the requisite resources for their complete development, both as people and athletes.”

Gonzalez also mentioned that “the Peruvian FA are totally behind the project and they’ve shown this from day one. Both their president and secretary general have committed to the project by implementing important measures, such as appointing a management team solely dedicated to women’s football.”

“The decision to name a new Director for the Development of Women’s Football, Sisy Quiroz, is a significant step and allows for us to map out a clear development strategy for women’s football in Peru, as well as providing resources for its successful execution,” concluded Gonzalez.

The FIFA Girls Academy is a fundamental part of a larger and more ambitious strategic plan for the development of Peruvian women’s football that is currently being implemented. Aside from increasing quality in the competitions and teams, which in turn will make for a more competitive and successful game, the plan also aims to give exposure to women’s football by creating a model for comprehensive, professional and self-sustaining management.

It also aspires to contribute to players’ personal development and education, have an impact on wider society and encourage gender equality, thus improving and dignifying the role of women in all walks of life.

"The FIFA Girls Academy has allowed the FPF to create a new framework within the women’s game, which will help us to give the best possible backing to this project and keep it going and growing over time," said Sisy Quiroz, Director for the Development of Women’s Football.

“We will enhance quality and competitiveness in our youth teams, with the aim of Peru qualifying for the World Cup in the coming years,” added Quiroz. “The approach to women’s football is changing a lot within the federation. There’s a very active participation in all areas to support its growth.”

FIFA’s strategy

This project is perfectly aligned with the FIFA Women’s Football Division’s development strategy, which is based on two key areas:

  • Development and growth

  • Governance and leadership

The main aims of the strategy are to:

  • Increase the quality and quantity of pathways with which youngsters throughout the country can get involved in elite football

  • Create centres of excellence with the optimum conditions so that players can fulfil their potential

  • Establish frameworks within federations for women’s football: not just for sporting matters but also other departments, while implementing a specific leadership structure for women’s football.

“These are sustainable long-term projects which FIFA support by offering knowledge and experience, as well as financial backing,” explained Emily Shaw, Head of Development & Governance.

“We want more solid administrative structures to be created in women’s football, that establish youth leagues and academies with adequate infrastructure for talent spotting. In the long term, all of this will bring about better results on the pitch for the national teams,” she added.

Peru is the first country to launch an academy project. In the future, similar projects will be implemented in New Caledonia, Mexico, Namibia, Vietnam and Portugal.