The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) last weekend announced that its third annual Women’s Football Day will be celebrated on Saturday, November 18, 2017.
Building on the success of the second women’s day held in 2016, in which all 41 Member Associations within the Confederation united to shine a spotlight on efforts to create more opportunity for girls and women to play the game, this year’s full-day event continues CONCACAF’s on-going work to strengthen programming in order to increase women’s participation in the game.
“Our aim is at consolidating a solid platform for the sustainable growth of women’s football within CONCACAF,” said CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani. “The third annual edition of the CONCACAF Women’s Football Day will be focused on providing further access for younger generations to play the game.”
As the focus of CONCACAF Women’s Football Day 2017, on Saturday, November 18, the Confederation will officially kick off the preparations for the 2018 CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship. Each Member Association has been encouraged to host an activity aimed at training its U-15 team. The CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship, which debuted in 2014, focuses squarely on access to the game for girls, exposing them to the benefits of football on and off the field.
“The women’s game is in such a climate that it is critical that the world and regional governing bodies create ready opportunities for the younger generation of females to play the game,” said CONCACAF and FIFA Council member, Sonia Bien-Aime. “Encouraging free play at the earliest opportunity with young females will cast a welcome net over these eager players who will not only learn to love the game but will be the ones to grow football from the early stages to the highest level of competition.”
In addition to next year’s CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship, in 2018 the Confederation prepares to host a range of important women’s events including the Women’s Under-20 and Under-17 Championships, and the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which qualifies Confederation teams to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In recent years, CONCACAF has demonstrated leadership in women’s football on and off the field, with Member Associations from Costa Rica and Canada hosting FIFA’s 2014 tournaments for youth players – the U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups, respectively. In addition, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 drew a total attendance of more than 1.35 million, setting a new total attendance record for a FIFA competition other than the FIFA World Cup, a championship kept in the region with the victory of CONCACAF nation United States.