Women’s football in Tajikistan boosted by FIFA

  • Tajikistan Football Federation (FFT) hosted a series of mini tournaments for girls aged 6-12 years

  • Over 3,000 participants from 12 different regions took part in the four-week event

  • A key opportunity for FFT to spot talented youngsters

The Tajikistan women’s football stars of the future had an opportunity to develop their skills and compete within their region, as the FIFA Women’s Football Campaign landed in 12 regions throughout the country.

In working to improve access to football opportunities for girls, the Tajikistan Football Federation (FFT) hosted a series of mini-football tournaments aimed at girls aged 6-12 years, and focused around small-sided games to maximise development and skills-based learning.

“With the support of FIFA, the Tajikistan Football Federation are working incredibly hard to change the perception of girls and women in football, right across the country,” explained Nina Travkina, FIFA women’s football expert and project lead for Tajikistan. “Through channelling our efforts into participation programs which provide opportunities for every girl to play football, regardless of location or previous football experience, we are helping to improve accessibility and boost participation.”

With currently only 250 registered players within the target age group, the chance to promote football to thousands of girls throughout all Tajikistani regions through the FIFA Women’s Football Campaign was highlighted as a key opportunity.

“The main objective of the Women’s Football Campaign is to increase the number of girls playing football in different regions, by showcasing the game in a positive and safe environment, where girls can grow, smile, make friends and express themselves through football,” Travkina added.

“One of the crucial elements of the campaign’s success in Tajikistan, lies in the existing connections with clubs and schools, and using these to create a playing pathway. This pathway is fundamental for the sustainable future of women’s football in Tajikistan and represents a legacy of the Campaign.”

Girls and their coaches pose for a group photo at a football festival in Tajikistan

The FFT also used the campaign mini-tournaments not only as an opportunity to boost female participation, but also to better ascertain the available talent within their player pools and use this to inform their women’s football development strategies.

FIFA today celebrates a highly successful first year of the Women’s Football Development Programme, with projects enthusiastically launched across the world, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eight initiatives, designed to accelerate the growth of women’s football globally, have been introduced and in just one year, FIFA has worked on 84 projects, with 47 different member associations, demonstrating how simple and rewarding it can be to make football accessible for girls and women all over the world.

Among these eight projects is the FIFA Women’s Football Campaign, designed to support member associations in delivering grassroots and small-sided football events to boost the participation of young girls and promote existing competitions and programmes. Support has also been given to football federations around the world, as they develop women’s football strategies, leagues, capacity building for administrators and club licencing.