UEFA's commitment to the continuous growth of women's football has been underlined by the appointment of five women's development ambassadors in Paris.
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Camille Abily, Lotta Schelin, Laura Georges and Verónica Boquete join former German international Steffi Jones as ambassadors to work with UEFA in a bid to inspire and educate potential future stars from across Europe through UEFA's Women's Football Development Programme, with the quintet to be unveiled in Paris today.
UEFA President Michel Platini said: "The quality of women's football has grown exponentially over the last decade and UEFA has been fully committed to the further development of women's competitions both at domestic and European level. The Women's Football Development Programme has been a way for us to work with UEFA's member associations to provide a greater infrastructure for women of all ages to get involved and make the most of their love of the game. The use of ambassadors with so much experience on the field can only benefit the next generation of female footballer."
Chairwoman of the UEFA Women’s Football Committee Karen Espelund said: "The growth of the women's game has meant that girls have an increasing number of top-level female players to look up to as role models and we can work with their popularity to further cultivate women's football in Europe. Their vision for football allied to their knowledge and experience of turning potential as a player into tangible results can have a great knock-on effect for the development of our sport."
The ambassadors will participate in various UEFA-sponsored development tournaments and events across UEFA's member associations to impart their knowledge and experience to young players, in order to best equip them with the tools to develop as footballers.
Jones, a three-time UEFA European Women's Championship winner, said: "In my visits as an ambassador with women's and girl's football projects across Europe, I have been impressed by the passion for football. It's important to tell them to have confidence, to see that football is a wonderful sport for all and an experience for life. I am really honoured to be an ambassador for UEFA." See past visits to inspire women's football development here.
"Without doubt, it will motivate future generations and it's really important," said Spanish international Boquete. "Girls who are developing in the game want to be like us and need female points of reference so to have us as ambassadors is something very interesting. It's exciting for us to know that we can make a difference to the future of women's football."