Tuesday 13 December 2022, 10:30

Confederations collaborate in Qatar as FIFA plans for further women’s football growth

The eyes of the football world have been on the Middle East and Arab world over the past month, with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 drawing record crowds and stunning broadcast audiences as world-class players and teams have thrilled fans across the globe. The tournament has also offered the chance for many different people and groups to unite to discuss football and strategise how to further develop and grow the game globally. Women’s Football is a key priority for FIFA, and during the quarter final stages of Qatar 2022, FIFA took the opportunity to bring together leading representatives from each of its six Confederations for a dedicated workshop.

FIFA Chief Women's Football Officer Sarai Bareman presents to FIFA Confederation representatives

Held on December 9 and 10, the workshop provided representatives from AFC, CAF, Concacaf, CONMEBOL, OFC, and UEFA, with the chance to unite in person for the first time since the start of the global pandemic to discuss opportunities and challenges specific to the women’s game. Led by FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman, the workshop enabled the representatives to discuss the FIFA Women’s World Cup, women’s football development, the professionalisation of women’s football, and ultimately how FIFA and its Confederations can work together to achieve sustainable growth at all levels. The FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand in 2023, and, after all six Confederations successfully held their own final tournaments in 2022, Bareman believes the stage is set for women’s football to continue on its growth trajectory next year.

Confederations Meeting – Women's Football

“It was incredible to host the six Confederations in Qatar with the backdrop of the FIFA World Cup,” Bareman said. “This was a unique opportunity to bring everyone together to talk about the work that has been done, and what more we can do with regard to development and competitions.” “I even got emotional in the closing of our workshop because so much has been done in women’s football. At FIFA, across the globe, everywhere. The growth has been incredible and what you will see next year in 2023 will be another massive boost for women’s football.” The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 will kick-off in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau on Thursday, 20 July 2023, and conclude with the Final in Sydney/Gadigal on Sunday, 20 August 2023. Tickets for the FIFA Women’s World Cup are on sale now at FIFA.com/Tickets.

Key objectives

FIFA will achieve its objectives by executing a five-pronged strategy to:

Govern & lead … strive for gender balance

Every MA will have one spot on its Executive Committee dedicated to the interests of women and by 2026 have at least one woman seated, while by 2022, at least one-third of FIFA committee members will be women. Strengthen and expand the Female Leadership Development Programme and improve professionalisation and regulatory oversight.

Educate and empower

Address and bring focus to specific social and health issues and reach out to NGOs and government stakeholders to develop sustainable projects that improve the lives of women.

Develop and grow … on and off the pitch

By 2022, have women’s football strategies in 100% of member associations, and by 2026, double the number of MAs with organised youth leagues. Expand football in school programmes, create elite academies and increase the number of qualified coaches and referees, vastly improving access to the game for girls.

Showcase the game … improve women’s competitions

Optimise regional qualifying for FIFA competitions and develop those events to build top-level players at a young age. Advance and launch new international competitions and improve the professional club framework.

Communicate & commercialise … broaden exposure & value

Advance awareness of top female athletes and raise the profile of women’s football by enhancing engagement, harnessing technology, implementing a distinct brand strategy and using role models and ambassadors as well as a dedicated Women’s Legends Programme. By 2026, launch a Women’s Football Commercial Programme.