Starting from the FIFA Women’s World Cup (then called the FIFA Women’s World Championship) hosted by FIFA in 1991, the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup took off in 2002, followed by the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup held in 2008. The level of play has seen a dramatic improvement over the years, and the popularity of the sport has risen to make women’s football one of the major sports in the world.
The most successful FIFA Women’s World Cup was held at Canada in 2015. It is said that the tournament has brought nearly 500,000,000 dollars in economic effect for the host nation, proving that women’s football is one of the most popular and influential sport in the world. The tournament final featuring Japan and the USA became the most watched televised football match in USA history.
Ever since the inaugural world tournament was held by FIFA 28 years ago, the sport of women’s football has made a major leap forward. In efforts to further develop women’s football, FIFA has defined the following three key objectives.
In the “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future,” FIFA states to bring women’s football to the mainstream and has set the goal to increase the number of female football players worldwide to 60 million by 2026.
ENHANCE THE COMMERCIAL VALUE
FIFA will create new revenue streams from its women’s competitions and events, while optimising existing revenue streams in order to further develop the sport of women’s football.
BUILD THE FOUNDATIONS
FIFA will govern and regulate a more sophisticated women’s football ecosystem, further develop leadership training platforms designed to attract women to the upper ranks of the football industry to change how the sport is being treated.
In order to achieve their goals, FIFA has given support to their member associations in developing and modernising existing development programmes. FIFA has also developed new FIFA women’s football competitions in order to reach their mid-term plans by 2026.
The slogan for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 is “Dare to Shine.” We will see how the players gathered in France will “shine” at the world’s biggest stage. We can only hope that their light will lighten up the pathway to a brighter future for women’s football.