Football associations set out strategy to grow women’s game at every level

The football authorities in Belgium have presented their strategic plan for the girls' and women’s game. The Believe & Achieve plan is intended to increase the number of players at grass-roots level, attract more supporters and take the national team to new heights.

The Belgian Football Association, the Pro League, the Flemish association Voetbal Vlaanderen and its francophone counterpart ACFF presented the plan on Friday. 

Among their aims are for 10 per cent more women and girls to take up football every year, doubling the number of supporters at Red Flames international matches, and a place in the top eight in Europe and top 12 in the world for the national team.

"Any girl interested in football will have the opportunity to discover and experience this fantastic sport in a safe and fun way"

“The popularity of women’s football continues to grow. And our ambition also continues to grow,” the partners said in a statement. 

“We want football as a sport to be at the forefront of girls’ and women’s minds, both recreationally and competitively. Our commitment is that any girl interested in football will have the opportunity to discover and experience this fantastic sport in a safe and fun way.” 

To get more girls playing, there will be school programmes from the third kindergarten class onwards. Each province will have a supervisor to help clubs become more active in women’s football, and each club will appoint an ambassador to ensure girls are given opportunities to play. Girls will have the choice of playing in a girls’ league or a mixed league.

High potential programme

The strategy is also intended to keep women in the sport after their playing careers are over, as coaches, referees or active club members. 

To push the national team to new heights, a “high potential” programme is being developed for future Red Flames players, and the national women’s and girls’ teams will each have a full-time coach. At league level, the Pro League is planning a league format with 10 teams, with strict conditions on contracts. 

Finally, the partners want to double the number of fans at Red Flames home games and in the Lotto Super League, partly by improving the fan experience. 


Belgium's players before a match against Hungary, 27 February 2024, in Heverlee © BELGA PHOTO DAVID CATRY

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