Developing women's football in Europe

A report assessing the UEFA Women's Football Development Programme for Europe's national associations showcases how the fund has been invested and selects some best practice examples.

Action from a UEFA Women’s Football Development Programme in Liechtenstein
Action from a UEFA Women’s Football Development Programme in Liechtenstein ©UEFA.com

Since 2010, UEFA has been promoting women's football through its Women's Football Development Programme (WFDP), which funds national associations' projects in a variety of areas.

The UEFA Women's Football Development Programme – National Association Projects' Report highlights one project delivered by each national association over the first cycle of the programme.

During the four-year period, each member association received €100,000 per year from UEFA to develop women's football. The first cycle of the programme, which amounts in total to €22m, is proving extremely successful, as the game has seen expansion at all levels throughout Europe.

"The worldwide growth of women's football as a popular team sport has been highly impressive – and UEFA is determined to give strong impetus to help push the European women's game forward in the years to come," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. "This is the right time to encourage girls and women to get even more involved in football."

The objective of the programme is to develop access to women's football, boost participation, and inspire young girls to play. The UEFA Women's Football Development Ambassadors – including successful players such as Nadine Kessler, Laura Georges, and Stephanie Houghton – plays an important role in providing role models.

The report gives an overview of how the national associations have invested the funding, and what they've achieved. It shows the areas in which funding has been spent including on-field or off-field development, promotion, coaching, leadership and refereeing. The document is also a source of ideas for future projects, and explores wider development within the women's and girls' game.

Associations with nine best practice examples have been identified: Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Germany, Hungary, Malta and Poland. These case studies will be explored in more detail on UEFA.org throughout the season.

Based on the success of the WFDP's first cycle, the programme has been extended for another four-year term from 2016 to 2020, as part of the HatTrick IV cycle.

Find out more about the WFDP.

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