The Football Association admits it has been “too slow to react” to changing attitudes towards women’s football.
English football’s governing body wants to double participation in the women’s and girls’ game to nearly six million by 2020, as part of a strategy called ‘The Gameplan for Growth’.
Senior FA officials claim, historically, the organisation “clearly let down women”.
“For the vast majority of the last 150 years, the focus has been almost exclusively on the men’s game,” wrote Greg Clarke, FA chairman, at the launch of the new initiative. “But times, societies and attitudes move on and we have been too slow to react.”
The FA has set itself a target of doubling the number of registered girls and women’s teams to 12,000.
It is also considering bids for major international women’s tournaments, including the European Championship and World Cup.
“One of the biggest barriers, to girls taking up football, is that their parents don’t seem to be as supportive,” Martin Glenn, FA Chief Executive, told Sportswomen on Sky Sports News HQ. “If a girl says that she wants to play netball, it’s fine. So I think it’s the image of the game that needs to be addressed.”
Baroness Sue Campbell was appointed as the FA’s Head of Women’s Football last year, and wants to have competitive England teams across all age levels […]