Wednesday 01 November 2023, 11:00

A special day for women's football in Kosovo

  • Multiple stakeholders came together for the launch of Kosovo’s first ever Women’s Football Strategy

  • The strategy has six core pillars and aims not only to increase participation, but also reshape societal perceptions of women

  • FFK President Ademi: “Through this strategy we aim to increase the participation of girls and women in all aspects of football.”

The Emerald Hotel in Pristina was the scene of football history in Kosovo on the evening of Monday 30 October, as the Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) launched their Women’s Football Strategy 2024-28. Just last month, FIFA Technical Consultant for women’s football Sue Ronan and FIFA Women's Football Development Coordinator Arbenita Morina took part in a workshop that brought together key stakeholders - a mixture of Administrators, club & national team players & coaches, representatives from local government and Olympic Committees, as well as staff from every department within the Federation - to co-define and prioritise the short, medium- and long-term goals necessary to develop and grow women’s football in Kosovo.

Both FIFA’s representatives joined Dan Whymark from UEFA for the launch, which featured speeches from FFK President Agim Ademi, and Head of Women’s Football Valbona Gashi, among others. They were joined in the room by members of the FFK Executive Committee, the FFK General Secretary, players from the national women’s team and club teams, as well as coaches and referees. FFK President Ademi emphasised the special nature of the strategy, the first after seven years of UEFA and FIFA membership. "I am proud that we have achieved such a step, in cooperation with UEFA and FIFA,” he said. “This strategy is a big step in the development of women's football in our country. Women's football is our priority and through this strategy we aim to increase the participation of girls and women in all aspects of football,” he continued.

Speaking on-stage, Sue Ronan, expressed her “absolute pleasure” to be in Kosovo on such a momentous occasion. “This work is where we are today and where we want to be in the future. Through this strategy, FIFA and UEFA want to support the development of women's football in Kosovo. Please be assured we will be by your side, and here to help you moving forward.” The strategy aims to increase the quality and development of players through the core pillars of: Participation; Education; National Teams, Elite player pathways; Communication and Marketing; and Good Governance and Leadership. The mission of the strategy is to empower every girl and woman through football, fostering their sporting and interpersonal skills, whilst challenging and reshaping societal perceptions in the country.

FFK Head of Women's Football Valbona Gashi explained how the drafting of the strategy concluded twelve months of preparation work. "With the help of FIFA, we organised workshops where relevant stakeholders involved in girls' football were invited; workshops which enabled us to make an analysis of the current situation and combined ideas and suggestions to create clear goals for the future. By doing this, we will create opportunities for the continuous development of girls' football in future," she said proudly. The evening concluded with a panel discussion. FFK Coach Education Director Sanije Krasniqi, player Xhuli Berisha and Lumturie Muhadri, the first female to referee in Kosovo's top men's league, shared their personal experiences in football through a panel, expressing excitement that many more girls and women will now be able to channel their passion for football, with the significant support and structures created by the Federation.