Austrian football has a rich and memorable history, with attention in recent years on rediscovering early successes.
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The guiding principle of the Austrian Football Association (ÖFB) is to promote, develop and support football throughout the country – and to make the benefits of football for Austrian society more visible, thereby promoting unity and solidarity under the motto More than Sport!
The main aims are to:
- Keep active players interested and keep retired players close to the game;
- Develop and promote women’s football and increase the numbers of active players at grassroots level;
- Further implement and develop the ÖFB’s digital strategy to support these strategic goals;
- Strengthen and develop the ÖFB’s infrastructure.
Much of this promotion and solidarity drive seeks to tackle the high dropout rate among players, coaches, officials and volunteers brought about by the pandemic, which has led to a decline of 20% in young players.
UEFA’s HatTrick programme, which channels EURO funds into football development across Europe, has allowed the ÖFB to continue its impressive recent development of women's football.
Austria were semi-finalists in 2017 at their first Women's EURO – the result of launching a girls' football academy to establish a pathway for young talent to reach the national team. Originally opened in 2010, the residential academy provides up to 50 talented young players aged 14–19 with a national training centre while still offering a traditional classroom-based education.
The Austrian FA was one of the earliest adopters of the first Europe-wide grassroots project especially for girls, Playmakers. Launched in spring 2020 by UEFA in cooperation with Disney, Playmakers encourages five to eight-year-old girls to find their way into football through a unique game and training concept based on the stories of well-known Disney films. Over 300 girls have already taken part in the first edition, and the second edition of the Playmakers project is in the starting blocks in 34 Austrian cities.
Projekt12, the ÖFB’s flagship programme for the most talented players, is partly financed by HatTrick. Numerous current women's and men's national team players have gone through this programme. It has been a significant factor in the development of the national team and the individual quality of the players.
UEFA Foundation for Children in Austria
Set up in 2015, the UEFA foundation uses football as a vehicle to help improve children's lives by supporting hundreds of campaigns and projects across Europe and around the world.
Kicken ohne Grenzen
Kicken ohne Grenzen's (Football Without Borders) mission is to use the unifying power of football to help young people from disadvantaged communities integrate into society.
Around 11% of Austria's 15 to 24-year-olds are neither in training nor employed. Most of these young people have a migration or refugee background, very often lack self-confidence, motivation, self-discipline, family support, and the skills required to manage their re-entry into the education system and start working towards a career.
By using weekly football sessions as a tool to discover and develop skills and potential that can be transferred into everyday life and applied in practice, Kicken ohne Grenzen has also been able to deliver social workshops and CV sessions to hundreds of women and men.
National team history
Date of birth: 9 November 1974
Association general secretary since: August 2016