Exclusive: Kenya selected for FIFA’s new women’s football project

Rebecca Magoma

Women’s football on the continent is largely seen and taken as second fiddle to the men’s game, and efforts put in place to improve the standard have hit a hard rock in some countries in recent times.

Kenya have not been left behind in terms of elevating the women’s game, but such efforts have been undermined particularly by the lack of sponsors for the women’s league, owing to poor marketing strategies.

Kenya’s misery may soon be a thing of the past thanks to the global governing body’s new women’s football development pilot project scheduled for 2018.

According to a letter in possession of LadiesMarch sent to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Secretary, FIFA selected Kenya for the project that will kick off next year.

“We are pleased to inform you that your Member Association (MA) has been selected to form part of the pilot phase for FIFA’s new women’s football development programmes.

“We have selected your MA for the pilot project which will focus on participation growth – a key pillar of our women’s football strategy whereby FIFA is aiming to reach 60 million female players by 2026.”

“Before rolling out our participation strategy globally, it is important that we carry out a successful pilot phase,” the letter stated.

“Your MA has a strong foundation favouring women’s football development and therefore has been identified as a high potential FIFA member in supporting this goal.

“This pilot project will focus on
assessing your current competition and development landscape and support the development of new and improved sustainable leagues using your existing club and school structures for different age categories.” read part of the letter.

The letter further read: “FIFA’s new approach to women’s football development is to create tailor made projects together with you and your team which support the specific needs of your MA over a period of 18 months.

“For this reason, the project will be tailored to your existing women’s football structures, competitions, capacities and resources.”

“As part of the pilot project, FIFA will appoint a technical expert that will work with your association on a regular basis. She/He will help your association design long term programme in order to grow the participation of girls into football based on which FIFA support will be awarded (equipment and direct
financial investment).”

The first quarter of the project is set to roll out next year and Kenya’s MA is expected to confirm by January 15, 2018.

“We would like to start the project in the first quarter of 2018. Therefore, we would appreciate if you could confirm your interest to be the pilot association for this project as well as share your association’s availability to start with the project and host the FIFA Expert.

“The initial visit should last up to one week in order for the FIFA Technical expert exchange with all key stakeholders and outline the initial expected outcomes in your top management.”

More to follow.

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