The governing body for football in Europe, UEFA has launched a dedicated women’s football strategy with an aim to double number of female players in Europe by 2024.
The strategy commits UEFA to a five-year strategic framework with the aim of supporting, guiding and lifting both women’s football and the position of women in football across Europe, UEFA has stated on its official website.
The UEFA Women’s Football Strategy 2019-24 will focus on building the foundations within UEFA and its member associations to give European women’s football the best possible platform to thrive. UEFA will invest in programmes and initiatives to support a balanced delivery of this plan from grassroots to elite levels.
“Women’s football is the football of today. It is not the football of tomorrow. It is UEFA’s duty as European football’s governing body to empower the women’s game. So UEFA will put significant financial investment into the sport, underlining that it dares to aim high and make European football as great as it can be. The actions that we propose and commit to in 2019 will lead to a greater, more professional and more prosperous game by 2024. Time for action,” said UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin.
The UEFA Women’s Football Strategy 2019-24 has set the following goals:
Double the number of women and girls playing football in UEFA’s member associations to 2.5 million
Change the perceptions of women’s football across Europe
Double the reach and value of the UEFA Women’s EURO and the UEFA Women’s Champions League
Improve player standards by reaching standard agreements for national team players and putting safeguarding policies in place in all 55 member associations
Double female representation on all UEFA bodies
Measures taken in the last three years include increasing UEFA’s funding to its women’s football development programme by 50% as of 2020, launching the Together #WePlayStrong campaign, unbundling women’s football competition sponsorship to support revenue growth, and creating a specific women’s football unit. UEFA has also separated the venue of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final from the men’s event in order to give the women’s final a platform of its own.
Nadine Kessler, UEFA’s head of women’s football, said: “This strategy will champion, innovate and accelerate women’s football for all so that every women and girl can have a love and affinity for football whether as a player, coach, referee, administrator or fan. Every girl, regardless of talent, deserves a place to play football and the possibility to strive for the impossible without limitation.
“Women’s football is football, and football has a huge ability to impact beyond the field of play and break down cultural and social barriers. Therefore, Time for Action: UEFA Women’s Football Strategy 2019–24 has been drawn up to lead a step change for women’s football and women in football.”
The strategy and its goals, actions and outcomes have been drawn up with UEFA member associations, leagues, clubs, players and other stakeholders, who have all united to contribute to its development. It is closely connected to the overarching UEFA strategy, Together for the Future of Football 2019–24, which includes the further development of women’s football as one of its four strategic priorities.