In the presence of major government bodies, business representatives, sponsors, members of FIFA and of the Costa Rican Football Association (FEDEFUTBOL), as well as the media, the FIFA Com-Unity Seminar, a gathering encouraging the growth of women’s football in Costa Rica, began on Wednesday 20 June and will run until 23 June.
The primary objective of the seminar is to focus the Costa Rican public’s attention on the unified approach being taken to the FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup Costa Rica 2014.
“During these three days, we’re going to try to initiate an agreement between the government, the media and marketing specialists, so that we can raise awareness that the tournament should be an event that involves the whole country," said FEDEFUTBOL President Eduardo Li. "We all have to show our support and join forces, because the entire nation will benefit from it.”
The football official was keen to stress that “this important U-17 World Cup must be viewed as a national project, one in which the people of Costa Rica are the greatest beneficiaries. And even more so for all the young girls out there, who will view competitions like this one as great opportunities to show the watching world what they can do.”
Setting a benchmark
FIFA Women’s Football Development Manager, Mayrilian Cruz-Blanco, praised the growth of the women’s game in the country, urging the public to get behind an event that will bear considerable fruit for sport in the Central American nation.
“On behalf of FIFA, it is with great satisfaction that I can state that Costa Rica is, in terms of the way in which women’s football is organised, a role model for many countries across the world," said Cruz. "One example of this is Shirley Cruz, a player who, through hard work and dedication, has demonstrated with strong performances in the French league that the potential exists here to succeed and to take a football career onto the next level.”
During the first day of the seminar, FIFA representatives revisited the organisational details of previous FIFA women’s competitions, the impact they had, and the tremendous benefits that they can generate for host nations.
Influential branches of government, such as the National Women’s Institute (INAMU) and the Costa Rican Sporting Institute (ICODER), as well as the Ministry of Education, delivered presentations on the history of women’s football in Costa Rica, its subsequent growth and the exciting opportunities that could emerge from the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014.