Linsi praises 'football of the highest quality'
FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi, accompanied by Chuck Blazer, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups, and Vitaly Mutko, President of the Football Union of Russia, gave a joint press conference on 2 September in Moscow.
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Urs Linsi, FIFA General Secretary
"Over the course of the last few weeks, we've seen football of the highest quality in this tournament as well as some very exciting games. The Football Union of Russia has shown its great experience and professionalism in the organisation of this event. The women's game does not yet have a great tradition in this country, which is why it was important to bring the competition here and promote this sport which has such great potential.
"This year we have aligned the structure and competitions of the women's game with that of the men's. Consolidating the different categories has now made it possible for us to establish a FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. The development [of the women's game] has been really dynamic in recent years.
"Women's football presents a huge challenge, and it's very important that it has the same opportunities open to it as the men's game. We also need to continue investing in it. I'm convinced that ten years from now the sport will be markedly different, including from the point of view of public interest."
Chuck Blazer, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups
"We arrived here in Russia with certain expectations for this championship. I can now say with no small amount of satisfaction that these expectations have not only been reached, but surpassed.
"While it came as no surprise to see Brazil, USA and China PR among the four semi-finalists, the same cannot be said for Korea DPR Having a team unexpectedly making the final is good news. They have shown what a top quality side they are, and I'm sure they will put on a great performance on Sunday."
Vitaly Mutko, President of the Football Union of Russia
"We're very satisfied with how everything has worked out. We put a lot of effort into trying to ensure the teams were comfortable, and I think we achieved that. This experience garnered at this tournament will be great for Russia, as we've acquired quality standards which we'll incorporate into our federation from here on in.
"The Russian Federation has set out an ambitious development plan for the future of the women's game between now and 2012, the primary objective of which is to develop and promote this sport all over the country, and improve the infrastructure so that it can take roots. Our secondary goal is to see our national teams move up in the world rankings.
"In spite of the achievements of the national team, women's football in Russia still has a long way to go. In our development plan, we envisage the creation of training centres for women footballers. Moreover, there will always be a women's department included in the football academies that we'll be opening all over the country. We also plan to establish a strengthened 16-team first division as the main tournament and further increase the number of amateur sides."