Tuesday 14 July 2020, 08:48

Colo-Colo rewarded for talent production line

  • FIFA launched Women's World Cup Club Solidarity Fund in 2019

  • Colo-Colo were one of the first clubs to have benefited

  • We hear from the club to learn more about its impact for development

In 2019, FIFA launched the first FIFA Women’s World Cup Club Solidarity Fund, which rewards clubs for providing players with a professional football pathway, while encouraging and incentivising football clubs to continue developing talent in the women’s game.

In close collaboration with its member associations, FIFA identified the beneficiary clubs by gathering historical data on the participating players.

Eligible clubs were those affiliated to FIFA member associations in which the players at France 2019 were registered during the competition and those that had trained the players between the ages of 12 and 22.

The money is paid out with the intention of enabling beneficiary clubs to create a high-performance environment for the best players in the world and to invest in developing women’s football at grassroots level.

Colo-Colo boast the most successful men’s and women’s teams in Chile. The women’s team has won 13 domestic championships and one CONMEBOL Libertadores Femenina. The story began in 2007 when the women’s section was founded as a pet project of fans of the club, which proceeded to devote the same commitment to women’s training as it does for men’s.

The club now regularly works with 100 players, who come not just from Chile, but also from neighbouring countries. Representing a key part of the concept are the Colo-Colo football schools, which, in addition to football training, also highlight the importance of social aspects, such as teamwork, solidarity and leading a healthy lifestyle. Thanks to the support of sponsors, all of the players on the women’s team and the entire coaching staff receive professional contracts.

Moreover, all official matches are played in the legendary Estadio Monumental and are streamed live on the internet. Colo-Colo had several current and former players feature at France 2019.

FIFA.com: In what areas did you use the Club Solidarity Fund financial contribution?

Colo-Colo: We organised our first women’s Noche Alba (“opening night”), as the men’s team does every year, including a match against Boca Juniors, which is used to introduce the team before the season starts and to strengthen the bond with the fans. In addition, the changing rooms have been improved, while an office will be built for the technical staff.

What impact will the fund have on the development of women’s football at your club?

The fund has helped us greatly in enabling us to consolidate our structure and further professionalise the women’s game. It gives us the opportunity to improve the players’ environment and promote our women’s teams so that we can get closer to the fans.

What is your vision for the future?

Our main goal is to professionalise our women’s teams to the extent that they can finance themselves and to have more players in the first team who came up from our youth teams. For this reason, it is important to strengthen the foundations. We want to focus not only on training players but also on educating them, so that they become well-rounded people who can make a positive contribution to society.