Two days prior to the final of the 5th FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter will officially open the 4th FIFA Women's Football Symposium on 28 September (09.00 h local time) at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai Conference Center. The two-day event will be attended by more than 500 delegates from 203 of FIFA's 208 member associations. The findings of the latest research and information about new strategies to further enhance the role and position of women in football and the women's game in general will be presented by experts from around the world.
The symposium is the product of more than two years' work by the FIFA Development Division and its regional offices across all six continents. Comprehensive research has been conducted by FIFA development officers and women's football experts in more than 150 countries including the analysis of women's football and the role of women within each country, the objective being to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for women's football in each respective region. Since the early 1990s, FIFA has been elaborating a strategy to boost the development and expansion of women's football. A key component in this has been FIFA's introduction of international competitions, which now mirror those organised in the men's game, to further accelerate women's football at all levels.
"This year's FIFA Women's World Cup has shown the results of our field work and the efforts made by our member associations over the last decade. At the women's football symposium, FIFA together with numerous experts will, for the first time, present comprehensive and authoritative details of the impressive advances the women's game has made across all continents since the last symposium four years ago," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter. "We are convinced that participants will take away from this symposium further ideas on how playing standards among female footballers can be improved and how women's participation levels in the game around the globe can be increased as well as concrete action plans for integrating women's programmes into the activities of national and regional associations that are at varying stages of development in relation to the women's game."
The main findings of the research include key points such as cooperation with governments, building awareness and promoting women's football, programmes to nurture the development of women coaches and referees in football as well as grassroots activities for girls and women. In total, some 30 interesting and valuable case studies have been identified by FIFA for publication in the new women's football toolkit early next year to provide communities with incentives and guidance for their future women's football initiatives. Seven of those case studies will be highlighted and discussed at the symposium.