The Scottish Football Association this week launched a new girls’ and women’s football strategy, Accelerate Our Game, designed to develop the sport at all levels over the next five years.
Created with funding and guidance from UEFA, the new strategy has a series of key objectives to help drive the game forward for the players of today and tomorrow, harnessing the power of women’s football to change perceptions.
Objectives of the Scottish FA’s Accelerate Our Game strategy
• Increase participation and have over 25,000 registered players by 2025
• Professionalise the elite club game
• Qualify consistently and compete at major tournaments
• Showcase the game so that it is valued by stakeholders and the general public
• Double commercial revenues
• Ensure women’s football is appropriately represented and has a voice on key decision-making bodies
As part of the plan, Hampden Park, which hosted four matches at UEFA EURO 2020, will become the home of the Scotland women’s national team, with all home games in the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying campaign to be held at the national stadium.
Other key features of Accelerate Our Game will be a review of how elite competitions are delivered, an improved governance model from the 2022/23 season and the introduction of an under-23s programme to bridge the gap between youth and senior international football.
Fiona McIntyre, Scottish FA head of girls’ and women’s football
“Accelerate Our Game is our commitment to ensure women’s football in Scotland fulfils its limitless potential. The new strategy sets out our vision for the next five years encompassing all aspects of the game as we aim to continue to make improvements across the board, from increasing participation numbers to improving the representation of women’s football on decision-making bodies.
“Hampden Park will become the new home of the Scotland women’s national team, which will not only inspire the nation but also the players as they aim to return to the biggest stage in women’s football, the FIFA World Cup.
“The game has grown immeasurably in recent times and we are focused on continuing that progression. We are committed to encouraging future generations to become involved with girls’ and women’s football whilst also ensuring the club game and our national teams excel.”
How the Scottish FA is growing the game
A growing trend
The Scots are the latest national association to benefit from UEFA’s support in creating its own women’s football strategy.
In recent months, Armenia, Finland and Italy have all announced new projects, while the development of women’s football is one of the main objectives of the Polish Football Association’s (PZPN) 2020-2025 strategy. The PZPN has recently rebranded its female competitions and acquired a first TV partner for women’s Ekstraliga competitions, ensuring matches are broadcast on free-to-air channels. By doing so, the PZPN is helping more people discover women’s football, inspiring more women and girls to take up the game and more sponsors, like new partners STATSCORE and Zina, to get behind the game.
UEFA’s helping hand for national associations
UEFA’s women’s football strategy framework helps guide associations in creating their own pathway for development.
Designed in collaboration with FIFA and European member associations and drawing on expertise from industry specialists and women’s football leaders, the initiative is part of UEFA’s ongoing mission to professionalise and grow the women’s game across the continent.
The framework provides an easy-to-follow eight-step programme, ensuring all national associations, regardless of size or capacity, can create or further develop their own tailored strategy inside six months.
The UEFA Women’s Football Strategy Framework