FIFA Women's World Cup 2015™
Nsekera: Canada 2015 should serve as an inspiration
04 Jul 2015
The closing press conference for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ was held in Vancouver on Friday alongside the sixth FIFA Women’s Football Symposium, two days before the Final of the prestigious tournament. In attendance were Lydia Nsekera, Chairwoman of the Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, and member of the FIFA Executive Committee, Tatjana Haenni, FIFA Deputy Director of the Competitions Division and Head of Women’s Football, Victor Montagliani, Chair of the National Organizing Committee and Canada Soccer President, and Peter Montopoli, Chief Executive Officer of the National Organizing Committee and Canada Soccer General Secretary.
Below are the principal extracts from the conference, which can now be re-watched on FIFA.com.
I said at the opening press conference that every Women’s World Cup is an opportunity to show as many people as possible how our game has improved. I’m delighted to confirm, a month later, that the seventh edition of the tournament has been a roaring success. It should serve as an inspiration for all member associations, and should certainly not lead to a drop-off in development just because of a few bad results. While it’s true that 30 million women and girls play football worldwide, we must still continue to increase that number. We need this motivational atmosphere that is generated every four years to lead to tangible and long-lasting decisions. Football must continue to be the number one team sport in the world. Participation levels still need to improve, and the goal of the Women’s Football Symposium that we set in motion this morning is to stimulate discussion and action on topics such as governance, structures, competitions, commercial development, promotion, media coverage and sponsorship.
*We always say that every Women’s World Cup is special and represents a building block in the development of women’s football. Canada 2015 provided confirmation that the Cup remains the biggest sporting event for women, and it was historic for various reasons. The competition involved 24 teams, eight more than at Germany 2011, and featured eight debutants. Goal-line technology was used for the first time. It proved essential on several occasions, and the assistant referees have confirmed that without this tool, it would have been virtually impossible to know if the ball had crossed the line.
FIFA and Canada Soccer worked together on the Live Your Goals project, aimed at increasing the number of girls playing football, as well as on the launch of a new campaign entitled “No Barriers”. Women’s football is evolving and standards are constantly improving, and so up until now, every World Cup has always been the best yet, and Canada 2015 is no exception to this rule. But without wishing to dampen the enthusiasm surrounding the current tournament, I can already say that the next one in four years’ time will also be the best.
*Victor Montagliani* **I’m so proud to confirm that Canada 2015 has been a great success and that it had a real impact on our nation, which has truly got behind women’s football for the past month. Canada took on the role of women’s football leader very early on. Aside from the investments we made in the development of our national team, we also did an excellent job of hosting the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup, the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and of course the ongoing 2015 Women’s World Cup. As well as taking a financial risk by hosting these tournaments, Canada Soccer provided support to all competing teams to ensure that they all had the best possible chances of success. We hope that the impressive attendances at this World Cup demonstrate the potential of women’s football in Canada.
*In 2010, when we bid for this Women’s World Cup, we had a number of objectives, such as ensuring that the tournament left a legacy and bringing the entire country together. And there were others. The most pressing one was operational, i.e. could we organise such a competition across five different time zones? The second question was technical in nature: we had to be sure that our national team development programme would propel Canada as far as possible. And the third pertained to our ability to reach our total stadium attendance target of 1.5 million spectators. We’re happy to have achieved practically all of our objectives. In terms of ticketing, we managed to attract 1.35 million fans, which represents 90 per cent of our target, but is still the highest total for a FIFA-run event outside of the FIFA World Cup™. We achieved that distinction in 2007, and we’re delighted to do it again in 2015, with seven matches attended by over 50,000 fans.