The 6th FIFA Women’s Football Symposium will take place from 3-5 July at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, Canada, bringing together hundreds of representatives from the 209 member associations to focus on women’s football and the role of women in football.
FIFA has organised such a symposium every four years since 1995 to create networking opportunities, share case studies, discuss the status of women’s football worldwide and give advice and direction to the member associations.
There will be a strong focus on governance – in particular on how to fully integrate women’s football into the member associations’ strategies and structures. The results of the FIFA Women’s Football Survey 2014 reiterated the need to improve in various areas including increasing the number of women in football. Symposium participants will discuss the best way forward to ensure more support for women’s football and better decision-making power for those involved in the women’s game so that growth and development can be optimised.
FIFA will use the opportunity to call on the whole football community to unite and support girls and women, and the pathways available to them – both on and off the field. The need to develop female leaders and give opportunities to women to take on leadership positions in football will also be addressed as a crucial element of good governance.
The symposium provides a forum to assess matters related to competitions and development, and explore how these two areas can be more closely linked and incorporated into an overall strategy to ensure success. Other topics to be discussed include: the player pathway – giving every girl access to football from the grassroots to professional level and beyond; the women’s football pyramid; technical aspects; medical topics; league development; increasing the number of female referees, coaches and other staff; and increasing the number of high-level and professional women’s football leagues and competitions.
To achieve the set objectives, there is a need for further investment. Therefore the symposium participants will also look at the business side of the game, including opportunities and considerations when it comes to marketing and promotion.
Invitees from the member associations include each association’s President or General Secretary, as well as one women’s football expert. Representatives of the confederations will also be in attendance. The speakers will include FIFA Executive Committee female representatives Lydia Nsekera, Moya Dodd and Sonia Bien-Aime, President of Canada Soccer Victor Montagliani plus other member association representatives and women’s football experts.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ has shown and proven that women’s football is capable of capturing the imagination of fans across the world, attracting millions of viewers on TV and followers online in addition to the crowds in the stadiums. Women’s football is one of the fastest growing sports for women and is currently enjoying increased attention from media and sponsors.
FIFA hopes the symposium will inspire further efforts within football and society to achieve greater representation and empowerment for women. It is a forum that FIFA expects to learn from, as well as to contribute to, so that FIFA, as a global community of football associations, can create the right structures and investment in order for the sport and those who play it to grow to full potential. The world of football should be open for equal access to all.