Fatma Samoura ended a four-day visit to Senegal on Friday 24 March. Once again, the development of women’s football in Senegal was at the heart of discussions at a seminar which concluded her stay.
Accompanied by a FIFA delegation consisting of Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, and staff from the FIFA Development Office for West and Central Africa, Fatma Samoura took part in a seminar titled “The development of women’s football in Senegal.” The interactive seminar was a great success in terms of exchanging ideas and analysing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the women’s game.
In addition to the presence of Fatma Samoura and Sarai Bareman, the President of the Senegalese Football Federation Mr. Augustin Senghor was also among the speakers, as well as the Secretary General of the FSF Mr. Victor Cissé and the Head of Women’s Football at the FSF Mrs. Seyni Ndir Seck. Presidents of local clubs, technical directors, referees, coaches, and former players and athletes also attended the meeting.
“In view of the progress made by Morocco, where the level of women’s football was not so high a few years ago, nothing is impossible for the West African teams. The potential is the same, the support at the level of the sports administration and the federation is also similar,” said the FIFA Secretary General. “We are here to analyse and find the levers that could help Senegal to rise to the level of teams of the calibre of Morocco.”
The Secretary General also emphasised how women’s football can address societal issues, as well as spoke about the creation of FIFA academies around the world. Finally, she highlighted how member associations can utilise FIFA’s support for the development of women’s football.
To enable women’s football to reach its full potential in each member association, the FIFA Women’s Football Division has drawn up a Women’s Football Strategy. Bareman outlined at the seminar how redefining the basis for cooperation between FIFA, the FSF, clubs, players, media, fans and all other stakeholders could help achieve collective goals.
Goals are also what the thousands of spectators who will attend the Senegal-Mozambique match tonight at the Abdoulaye Wade stadium are waiting to see. Fatma Samoura will be one of them. A spectacular match would be the ideal conclusion to a week of great encounters and promises for the future of women’s football in Senegal.