Wednesday 15 May 2024, 07:15

Critical calendar to optimise women’s football planning and professionalisation

  • Women’s International Match Calendar 2026-2029 approved by FIFA Council

  • Four-year calendar based on a player-centric approach and follows extensive period of research, analysis and consultation

  • Key features include reduction of match windows and window types, consistent placement of windows, and increased capacity for players to rest, recover and re-train after major global tournaments

As women’s football continues to grow across the globe, the FIFA Council has unanimously approved a critical tool to support its acceleration – the Women’s International Match Calendar 2026-2029.

The four-year calendar is backed by extensive research, analysis and consultation, with the impact on players at the heart of its design.

Highlights of the calendar include a reduction in the number of international windows from six to five, which will reduce travel for players and result in fewer disruptions for domestic leagues and clubs.

Windows will be consistently placed in February-March, April, May-June, October, and November-December each year, with a minimum of four weeks between international opportunities also equating to fewer disruptions.

FIFA has also streamlined the window types available to national teams from three to two, ensuring that all national teams will play in the same window type at the same time.

“This calendar is such a critical tool to ensure we continue to drive global professionalisation of women’s football,” said FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Dame Sarai Bareman.

“In many parts of the world, international football provides crucial top-flight playing opportunities for female players, and this is particularly the case in nations where domestic leagues are not yet fully professional. This calendar strikes a balance to enable the domestic and international games to grow side by side, while at the same time ensuring players will have more opportunities to rest, recover, and re-train between windows and following major tournaments.”

FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Dame Sarai Bareman

Two type I windows will be held each year (May-June and October). These windows will be nine days in length, with up to two matches permitted to be played by national teams.

Three type II windows will also be available each year (February-March, April, and November-December). These windows will be 12 days in duration, with up to three matches permitted to be played by national teams.

The adjustments to both the length and structure of the new type II windows will provide various benefits to stakeholders across the women’s football ecosystem. With type II windows commencing on Tuesday, players will have a better chance to rest and reset between commitments with club and country, while member associations will be empowered to shine a greater spotlight on their women’s national teams by planning and scheduling more international football on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, when the best possible fan connection and commercialisation opportunities exist.

There will also be at least ten weeks between major global tournaments, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™, and the subsequent international window. This will ensure that confederations and leagues organising competitions have a clear opportunity to prioritise rest for players immediately following their international endeavours.

Women's Football