Statement on the International Match Calendar
Categories:ECA Media Release
ECA Media Release
The proposed plans by FIFA to stage both the men’s and women’s World Cup tournaments every two years will have profoundly detrimental sporting, economic, societal and many other impacts that will fundamentally alter the course and development of the women’s game. The fast-paced nature of the (so far) very selective consultation process and all-but agreed proposals have not allowed a careful reflection on what is in the best interests of the future development of women’s football or adequately assessed the possible irreversible consequences such a change might entail.
The symbiotic relationship between all parts of world football – allowing professional, amateur and grassroots football across both men’s and women’s clubs and national teams to all thrive in their own right – requires detailed and considered thought ahead of reaching any conclusive decisions on the future of the Men’s and Women’s International Match Calendar (IMC/WIMC). To date this process has yet to have taken place.
To be clear, this is not in any way about Europe defending its position, nor a question of national team versus club football. Our reservations centre on our desire for a balanced and inclusive global development that gives women and girls the best conditions to play the most beloved game at all levels and in every society. No one has more insight and understanding of this complexity than those who nurture the game on a daily basis – clubs, leagues, players and coaches – in addition to the governing bodies at confederation, national and regional levels.
Our desire is for FIFA to engage in a genuine, joint and open forum with all relevant football bodies and stakeholders, to assess with the required depth and understanding of the specific context and stage of development of the women’s game and its connection to men’s football, all the consequences the proposals will cause. The consequences include but are not limited to:
We approach the future of the game’s development with an open and progressive mindset, and we appreciate the stated intent of the idea of a biennial Women’s World Cup is to develop football and provide more playing and hosting opportunities. However, such a far-reaching proposal requires serious scrutiny within the context in which it sits - the women’s football ecosystem. An ecosystem that is growing at pace but has not fully matured. Further development of the game we all love can only truly come about when we discuss together, at the same table, and with all those impacted by such a major decision. It is a delicate equilibrium which must show respect and responsibility across a spectrum of competitions, players, coaches, fans, nations and culture.
Such cooperation and openness between football stakeholders is the only real solution to find the best way to develop women’s football on a truly global basis and for the benefit of all.
Kvindeliga (Danish Football Association)
The FA Women’s Super League (English Football Association)
The FA Women’s Championship (English Football Association)
Frauen-Bundesliga (German Football Association)
Kansallinen Liiga (Football Association of Finland)
Serie A Femminile (Italian Football Association)
Eredivisie Vrouwen (Royal Netherlands Football Association)
Liga 1 Feminin (Romanian Football Federation)
Elitfotboll Dam, Sweden
Women’s Super League (Swiss Football Association)
European Club Association