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Kick-off for 2022 Women in Football Leadership Programme

Latest edition sees 32 women gather to share perspectives and experiences to develop their leadership skills.

The class of 2022 at UEFA HQ in Nyon, Switzerland
The class of 2022 at UEFA HQ in Nyon, Switzerland

Female leaders from various football associations across the world are in Switzerland this week on the latest edition of the Women in Football Leadership Programme (WFLP).

The WFLP is a week-long biennial course run jointly between FIFA, the UEFA Academy and the IMD Business School, empowering decision-makers and potential senior executives to take further forward steps in their careers. The 2022 edition brings together 32 women representing all six confederations and nominated by their respective member associations, who hold senior management positions in football such as general secretaries, executive board members or directors.

What is the Women in Football Leadership Programme?

WFLP participants complete a classroom exercise
WFLP participants complete a classroom exerciseKristian Skeie

Established in 2014, the WFLP brings together professionals working in football to share their perspectives of the game and how it can continue to develop, particularly around diversity and inclusion, as well as the obstacles blocking women from taking on more leadership positions within the game.

The programme includes leadership training, practical role-plays, round-table discussions, and one-on-one coaching, with participants developing a sense of self-awareness and how this can support career development, as well as a strong global network of like-minded contacts.

How do participants and the wider game benefit from the Women's Football Leadership Programme?

Nadine Kessler, UEFA chief of women's football

"Developing a new generation of female leaders in football is crucial to promote greater gender balance in representative roles across football and its decision-making bodies.

"By identifying talents and providing them with a platform that can unleash potential, elevate their capabilities and, most importantly, empower them to step up and take on leadership opportunities, the WFLP encourages both personal and professional growth."

Sarai Bareman, FIFA chief women's football officer

"Women play vital roles in making organisations successful. They create a balance that allows us to share ideas and skills to constantly improve together and strive forward.

"The programme is a unique platform for female executives in football to grow and assume more decision-making roles within their organisations."

Women's Football Leadership Programme: the class of 2022

Participants listen in to a round-table discussion
Participants listen in to a round-table discussionKristian Skeie

Anargul Abdyshova (Kyrgyz Republic), Zumrud Aghayeva (Azerbaijan), Lujaina Al Zaabi (Oman), Shaneez Aminath (Maldives), Diana Bulgaru (Moldova), Wanxin Chen (Singapore), Kelly Davies (Wales), Olive Michele Dol Somse (Central African Republic), Maria Teresa Figueras Pons (Andorra), Heather Garriock (Australia), Martha Gens (Portugal), Aikaterini Gkonta (Cyprus), Patrizia Hell (Germany), Outi Järvelä (Finland), Tamara Jokić Rozman (Slovenia), Dalila Johana Lopez Sanchez (Nicaragua), Diana Matheson (Canada), Laura McGinn (Gibraltar), Laura Menzies (New Zealand), Viktorija Mihaļčuka (Latvia), Farkhunda Muhtaj (Afghanistan), Angela Platt (Northern Ireland), Sapna Rani (India), Anna Nyakuet Taker Riak (South Sudan), Anya Schillumeit (Switzerland), Sainey Sissohore Mboge (Gambia), Sabrina Suarez (Venezuela), Amalia Thomaidou (Greece), Pénélope Tomasi (France), Inge van Bogerijen (Netherlands), Jarsmine Vidal (Dominica) and Milou Werth (Sweden).

More about the UEFA Academy

Building on the professional excellence UEFA has established throughout its history and the learning initiatives developed over the last decade, the UEFA Academy inspires the education of individuals and organisations to continuously elevate the game.

Since its foundation, the Academy has trained more than 3,000 graduates from 145 nations around the world, offering 62 learning initiatives each year.

What can you learn with the UEFA Academy?