On the eve of Opening Match of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019, delegates from confederations and 211 member associations gathered in Paris today to discuss and debate some of the key priorities for the future development of women's football, as well as how to further grow, enhance and commercialize the women's game.
Using the five strategic pillars of the FIFA Women's Strategy, the first day of the FIFA Women's Football Convention including an engaging programme covering topics that ranged from the importance of youth competitions, the commercialisation of the game to the empowerment of women through football.
The opening day included contributions from leading figures from the world of football and sports such Barbara Slater, the BBC's Director of Sport, Jean-Michel Aulas the President of Olympic Lyonnais and FIFA Legends Karina LeBlanc and Clarence Seedorf.
Speaking about the day, Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Women's Football Officer said:
"Today some of the world's leading practitioners and representatives from women's football have assembled together in Paris today to share the challenges we experience, as well as examples of best practice in football and beyond.
"By bringing in leaders from the worlds of business, the media and international organisations, we were able to map out some important step to build a brighter future, not only for women's football but also in society."
The event, held at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, saw panel sessions moderated by a number of high-profile sports broadcasters including Carol Tshabalala, Amanda Davies and Alex Scott and Amanda Vandervort, social media and digital expert, was engaging with attendees and women's football stakeholders online through the official hashtag #FIFAWFC2019.
The day saw intriguing and open discussion about key areas of the women's game from some of the most influential figures in the industry featuring the significance of visibility and role models to inspire the next generation highlighted, right through to the importance of investment into the women's game and developing the next generation of female leaders and administrators and leaders.
There was an overwhelming consensus that the women's game is in the best position it has ever been in, while the view was that this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup could act as a springboard for confederations and associations to move the game forward and make football accessible to all.
The day concluded with a panel that focused on education and empowerment, with some incredibly inspiring and emotional stories told about the barriers overcome to deliver football to women and girls in countries including Uganda and Mauritania.
"Throughout today, many participants and attendees and FIFA Women's Football Convention have been overwhelmed by the energy and enthusiasm shown by everyone in the room. There is a genuine appetite amongst so many to elevate the women's game to new levels and the FIFA Women's Football Convention has provided an important platform to inspire and empower women and girls around the world."
Political leaders, commercial partners, senior representatives from international organisations and high-profile players will gather tomorrow for the second day of the FIFA Women's Football Convention.
Topics that will be discussed include the challenges, barriers and opportunities for growth and development of the women's game, as well as how sustainable strategies, programmes and partnerships can contribute to both women's football and a more diverse and inclusive society.