In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA launched a relief plan which has made up to USD 1.5 billion available to assist the global football community. In a strategic move, the Mexican Football Association (FMF) has decided to use most of FIFA’s grants to support women’s football, and in particular to help run the women’s football league – the Liga MX Femenil – and to support the women’s national teams, including through the implementation of safety protocols and COVID-19 tests.
“We believe that women’s football has huge potential, and it was important given the pandemic and the impact on clubs’ finances that the FMF, with the support received from FIFA, provided funds to allow women’s football to keep growing and getting stronger,” said FMF General Secretary Iñigo Riestra.
“We’re really grateful for the help we received. It helped us with our expenses and to support our players and the club to keep our environment healthy and free from infections with tests and safety protocols,” said Claudia Carrión, Sports Director of Club América Femenil.
“It’s amazing to be back playing, we all needed it. Let’s hope it will go on like this, because this is what keeps us healthy and makes us happy,” said Ximena Ríos, a player for Club América.
In the current circumstances, the Liga MX Femenil is operating without spectators. “We would love to have the fans here, their support during matches is very important for us. But we also know that, right now, people need to stay home and use face masks. If we take care of each other, the fans will be back soon,” added Claudia Carrión.
The FMF has been making very good use of all of FIFA’s programmes in recent years. As part of FIFA’s regular support for football development around the world, the FMF is, for instance, using FIFA Forward funding to upgrade the high-performance national centre in Mexico City, where all Mexican national teams train.
The new head coach of Mexico’s women’s national team, Mónica Vergara, was also one of the first participants in FIFA’s Coach Mentorship Programme, during which she was mentored by Jill Ellis, who was the USA women’s national team coach at the time.
“I think these resources are being used well to help us grow. All of the resources that FIFA is allocating exclusively to women’s football have translated into the support we have received from the FMF,” added U-17 women’s national team coach Ana Laura Galindo.