Global Development of Women’s Football Game

Photo: Eren Sarigul, Emre Sarigul, Can Yazici
Didem Karagenc - Women's Turkey national team and Besiktas captain

Women today are powerful, independent and with full of energy that they can reach everywhere and can do lots of powerful things to engage themselves and others with their activities. You will find women are working everywhere and trying to participate in several activities. Even they also love sports and making themselves involved in different online and offline games including football, cricket, hockey, and video, even in an online lottery as well.

Football may be considered as the sport for men but there are lots of women those who are playing this game and enjoy screaming to their favourite team. Over the past few years, we have witnessed an unprecedented and unexpected rise of women’s football throughout the world with the increase of women participation and emerging new competitions. The numbers of figures of viewers are going every year. Despite of lots of criticism, UEFA and FIFA are appreciating the importance of empowering the movement and also supporting it with so many different programs including FIFA Women’s Football Commercial Programme as well as UEFA Women’s Football Development Programme which has the aim to make the football game for women more competitive, appealing and sustainable as well. Thus, many national football associations like Italian FIGC are also trying to reduce the gap between the men and women game and following the suit to help women so that they can play football in a more professional way.

Strategies took by FIFA to develop Women’s Football:

The women football game has undoubtedly made vast strides in recent years at every level. Still, it is significantly lagging behind the football game of men in every prospect and also there is vocal criticism about the equality and working conditions of the global players mainly from FIFPro.

In the last year 2018, at the month of October, FIFA announced that they would make the prize money double to US$30Million which would be divided between the 24 teams those which are taking parts in 2019 tournament in France. Not only that but FIFA has also grant clubs financial rewards for the participation of the players in the competition for the very first time.

Instead of such progressive native of the announcement, the implementation is still been met with the criticism from other parties even including FIFPro, individual players and governing persons as the additional funding is not at all sufficiently far-reaching and discouraging their constitutional promise to equality.  The men’s world cup was awarded with 12% the hike with the overall prize money to US$400 million which is a gap of $370 million with women. The winner of the men’s tournament received US$38 million in 2018 whereas the winning nation of women’s competition earned only US$4 million. 

FIFA has now published a report on October 2018 with Women’s Football Strategy where they express that they want to work with the stakeholders across the board to adopt the concrete measure of girls and women so that it can ensure that football game for women will be open to all without any gender discrimination. The five main agendas are:

  1. Need to promote the growth of game both on and off-field with all other development programs, elite academies that required for women’s football and also increase the number of qualified instructors and referees.
  2. Promoting the image of the top female football players and increasing their reputation.
  3. Improving women’s competitions by redefining the qualifying stages of the World cup. Also trying to create new competition on an international level and improving the structure and setups of professional clubs with the target of 1 billion viewers for 2023 Women’s World Cup. 
  4. Empowering and educating women in football to draw public attention.
  5. Encouraging equality between men and women and also ensuring that women will also have the role for decision making.