Creation of a FIFA Club World Cup for Women, Women’s World League, more teams and prize money are among the five key points proposed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino to promote women’s football globally.
Infantino had outlined the proposals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 closing Press conference with a commitment to take his wish list to the FIFA Council for the future development of women’s football.
Hailing the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France as “the best women’s World Cup ever”, the world football body chief has proposed the following five points to expedite the growth of women’s football, which during the ongoing World Cup has exceeded 1 billion viewers across all platforms.
- The creation of a FIFA Club World Cup for women: starting as soon as possible
- The creation of a Women’s World League: a proposal put forward already in 2017, to be played in tournaments all over the world
- Expanding the FIFA Women’s World Cup from 24 to 32 teams, potentially already as of the 2023 edition.
- To double the prize money for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- To double the investment committed to women’s football over the next four-year cycle, from $500m to $1 billion.
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“This Women’s World Cup in France has been phenomenal, emotional, passionate, fantastic. The best Women’s World Cup ever. Something extraordinary happened here. It was all thanks to the French people that this Women’s World Cup became what it is, the best ever. That’s why there will be a before and after the Women’s World Cup 2019,” Infantino said at the Press conference.
“Many people around the world have tuned in for the first time to watch a women’s football match and they saw that it is football. We have athletes playing football with physical, technical, tactical skills. What other event, other than the men’s World Cup, can unite 1 billion people around the world to come together like this?
“We need to do more to make sure that this gap [between Europe and other continents] doesn’t become bigger. We want to channel part of this investment into the grassroots of the game all over the world. We need to invest much more where there is no women’s football, rather than where the women’s game already exists,” the FIFA President said on the future of women’s football.
Infantino also highlighted the use of VAR for the first time at a Women’s World Cup: “I’d like to congratulate Pierluigi Collina and all of his team because it wasn’t easy to take this gamble. I think it was a success. I’m delighted with this. The good news is that things can improve. Things are only going to get better because VAR is here to stay. Those that aren’t entirely convinced will be in due course.”
An unprecedented success for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France has come as a shot in the arm for the sport. With FIFA president proposing financial boost by way of making double the World Cup prize money and increasing the investment in women’s football worldwide to $1 billion (from $0.5bn) over the next four-year cycle, football for women is going to be more lucrative and commercially viable than ever.