Scottish FA have announced that Hampden Park will host all of Scotland Women’s home qualifiers for 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
This announcement forms part of a wider new initiative titled ‘Accelerate Our Game’ which forms a new women’s football strategy with assistance from UEFA.
Explaining the decision behind making Hampden Park, Glasgow, the central venue for future Scotland Women fixtures, Scottish FA’s Head of Girls’ and Women’s Football – Fiona McIntyre spoke of the hope that this move will “inspire the nation but also the players as they aim to return to the biggest stage in women’s football,”.
Scotland Women’s first competitive home game at Hampden Park on 21 September will see them host Faroe Islands, which will coincidentally be their first home match under new manager, Pedro Martinez Losa who has replaced Shelley Kerr as permanent manager.
This new ‘Accelerate Our Game’ strategy contains six different pillars comprising of;
- Inspire and support lifelong participation – aim for 25,000+ registered players by 2025 and create clear pathways to future opportunities for coaches plus players.
- Take elite competitions and clubs to the next level – turn women’s football professional and improve competition formats with a thorough review.
- Deliver successful National Team and a world-class performance system – Create an Under-23 squad as well as improve scouting, coaching and performance environment standards.
- Improve visibility and change perceptions – Move National Team fixtures to Hampden Park as well as support expansion of reach across stadiums, online and TV with aim of 10% increase in spectatorship.
- Increase commercial revenues – Create new marketing opportunities across clubs and players with a commercial inventory of sponsors.
- Optimise organisation and governance structures – Improve governance of women’s football and empower female leadership throughout the game.
It is hoped that all six different strategic pillars focused on different aspects of football will help accelerate the sport’s growth amongst women of all ages in Scotland, although the Scottish FA have iterated that an ‘inclusive approach’ is required from various parties from teams to government and supporters.
Speaking further on this new strategy, McIntyre said: “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.
“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.”