Girls' elite league introduced

Since hosting the final round of the European Women’s Under-17 Championship last year, Lithuania has continued to make efforts to grow the girls’ game.

©LFF

Since hosting the final round of the European Women’s Under-17 Championship last year, Lithuania has continued to make efforts to grow the girls’ game.

A new page in Lithuanian football history was turned on 6 April when, inspired by UEFA’s Together #WePlayStrong campaign and the need to lift the standard of local girls’ competitions, the Lithuanian Football Federation introduced a girls’ Under-15 championship.

In its first season, the girls‘ elite league involves six teams of different origins from across the country. The teams come from the two major cities of Vilnius and Kaunas, the towns of Gargždai and Utena – where women’s football has recently gained significant popularity – and from the traditional girls’ football strongholds of Ukmergė (dubbed as the Mecca of women’s football) and the suburbs of Vilnius.

The league provides the girls with the same playing conditions as boys. The format is similar to that of the Lithuanian youth league. Matches last for 80 minutes, and if the game ends in a draw the winners are determined in a penalty shoot-out. The elite league represents a significant change in the girls’ game and will improve the skills and mentality of the players before they move up to the women’s league and, perhaps, be called up for the national teams.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 185

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