A Women's Football Development Seminar in Rio de Janeiro is taking place from 19-20 May as part of the agreement between FIFA and the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) for the implementation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Legacy Fund. National key stakeholders including players, coaches and officials from all Brazilian states attended the event that started today.

The seminar serves as a platform to map women's football in Brazil and establish a strategic plan for each region, with resources from the Legacy Fund. Of a total of $100m from the Legacy Fund, 15 per cent will be allocated to the development of the women’s game.

FIFA Senior Development Programmes Manager Gregory Engelbrecht and Senior Women’s Football Development Manager Mayi Cruz Blanco presented women’s football as a transformational tool that opens new opportunities for women and girls around the globe.

“Brazil is crazy for football and has had some of the most talented individual female players, with excellent technical ability,” said Cruz Blanco. “With the fifth biggest population in the world, Brazil has a huge grassroots base potential. All the natural ingredients are here.

"Alongside the CBF, we will work to ensure that the right structure for investment and monitoring is in place for women’s football in general and for the Legacy Fund. A crucial element for success will be to include women and especially former female players as coaches, referees, administrators and decision makers.”

Opening the Seminar, CBF’s President Marco Polo del Nero welcomed the participants and highlighted the responsibility of the CBF to change the situation that women’s football currently faces in Brazil, using the Legacy Fund. “We must open space for girls to play, in the schools, in clubs. It will be possible, working jointly with FIFA and also with the different levels of government."

Brazilian international Formiga, who has five appearances at the FIFA Women's World Cup™, highlighted the importance of the Seminar: “It is a victory. Who could imagine having an event like this, focused only on women’s football? We know that it is just a first step, but it is a crucial one for the future of our sport."