UEFA to increase funding for women’s soccer development

UEFA logo (AFP pic)

NYON: UEFA will increase its funding for women’s soccer development projects across Europe by 50% from 2020, the continent’s governing body announced on Monday.

As part of UEFA’s HatTrick scheme to provide assistance to its 55 member associations, the Women’s Football Development Programme currently pays 100,000 euros (US$115,830) per year to each nation for development projects.

This figure will now rise to 150,000 euros.

“The potential for women’s football is limitless and it is with this in mind UEFA has taken the step to increase funding available to the national associations to help improve the women’s game,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.

“Increasing the participation and the role of women in football has been one of my main objectives, both before and after I became UEFA president.”

Since becoming elected in 2016, Ceferin has taken steps to try and boost women’s football in Europe including separating the Champions League finals from 2019 onwards, the two events previously taking place in the same city.

Next year’s Women’s Champions League final will be staged in Budapest, while the men’s version will be held in Madrid.

UEFA also oversaw a record-breaking Women’s Euro 2017 in the Netherlands in terms of attendances and TV viewers.

The HatTrick programme is funded from revenues from the men’s European championship and has invested more than 1.8 billion euros back into the game since 2004, UEFA said.

UEFA added that the scheme has helped a number of its member associations to build national training centres as well as develop grassroots projects.