FIFA helps all countries to develop, encourage and promote football among their womenfolk within the prescribed parameters of their culture and religion. The FIFA Mission on Women’s football says:
“FIFA promotes the development of women’s football and is committed to creating opportunities for female players, coaches, referees and officials to become actively involved in the sport of football”.
The statistical data is encouraging.
- 29 million of women and girls play football worldwide!
- 12% of youth players are female
- Women and girls play football worldwide in one way or another
- Today 134 Women’s Team have a FIFA ranking
- The number of teams for the FIFA WWC Canada 2015 has increased to 24!
Last year Pakistan hosted 2014 SAFF Women Championship from November 11th to 21st November, but the participation of women in such a sport is still limited if not completely restricted. The myths and prejudices surrounding women’s football in the country are manifold.
Women’s football throughout the conservative nations of South Asia remains in its childhood, with players having to stick to a strict dress code of trousers and sleeved shirts to avoid protests from hard cores. In the same way, male spectators are also banned from watching them play.
On the other hand Social obstacles, poor infrastructure, improper coaching and a lack of support in a male-dominated society are major reasons why the beautiful game has not strengthened its roots among the female masses and developed further at grass-roots level in Pakistan.
Women are restricted to making footballs which are exported to the world’s greatest footballing nations but the manufacturers have no exposure to the game. There should be more to footballs than making balls. There is very less participation from women teams from KPK and Baluchistan provinces, where cultural barriers are very strong obstacles.
But if a visionary promotional campaign are conducted in these areas, the young girls of these regions will definitely be encouraged.
There is healthy increase in the number of female football clubs popping up, but these clubs should divulge from the affluent areas of bigger cities of Pakistan and focus on the underdeveloped areas of the state to reveal talent of the nation. Schools and colleges are the best places to spot talent.
There is a great deal of potential for women’s soccer in the near future but opportunities and maximum conditions have to be created for women to occupy technical and managerial positions in football, including the domains of refereeing, coaching,
medicine, media and administration.