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JFA creates new coaching licenses for female coaches

The Japan Football Association (JFA) has announced plans to create an Associate-Pro (A-Pro) Licence Coaching Course to produce more female coaches.

The Japan Football Association (JFA) has announced plans to create an Associate-Pro (A-Pro) Licence Coaching Course to produce more female coaches.

Japan is set to introduce the WE League, a new women’s football league in 2021 – the A-Pro license and course has been created to see women become coaches at WE League clubs.

The JFA said that the league will be the foundation for growth of women’s football in Japan.

“This project was launched with the intention to reignite the popularity of women’s football in Japan ahead of the kick-off of the WE League. Football’s player population has currently hit the ceiling in Japan, but women’s football still has great potential for growth,” Vice Technical Director of the JFA Technical Committee, Ono Takeshi said.

“With the growth of our football family, more families will talk about football and attend more football matches, and that is the future we are envisioning. By making football part of our culture, we strongly believe that we can heighten the overall level of football in Japan.”

The course will involve both lectures and practical components. International opportunities such as training courses and language classes will also be held, with the hope that participants will be able to work overseas after the completion of the course.

“The ‘Nadeshiko Vision’ is a principle that is set to heighten the overall level of women’s football in Japan. In 2015, part of the article was amended from ‘everyone involved in women’s football’ to ‘everyone involved in Japanese football’,” Chair of JFA Women’s Committee, Imai Junko said.

“The development of women’s football cannot be accomplished without the support of the entire Japanese football community, and the development of women’s football will certainly contribute to raise the overall level of football in Japan.

“The participation of female coaches must be promoted at licensing programmes of all levels, and the support from technical committees and women’s committees from each prefectural FA is essential. We will provide our utmost efforts to achieve optimal and sustainable results (through the kick-off of the WE League and the A-Pro licence project).”

The WE League will become the top level of women’s football in Japan from autumn 2021. The new competition takes the place of the current Nadeshiko League and will feature between six to 10 teams.

The league’s name comes from the acronym for ‘women’s empowerment’ and is Japan’s first professional women’s football league.

Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

FIFA and Mexican Football Federation’s Supercopa Femenil to encourage growth in women’s football

FIFA

With the financial support of FIFA, the Mexican Football Federation has launched the FIFA | FMF Supercopa Femenil (Women’s Super Cup) as part of its women’s football development programme.

The five-day U-15 tournament (between 3-7 August) organised in Toluca, provided 206 players across 12 teams from Nuevo León, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Mexico City, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Estado de México, Baja California, Chihuahua, as well as a representative team from the United States, with an opportunity to have their talents detected by scouts from both Liga MX, and the Mexican national teams.

FIFA will provide technical support, equipment and funding for two years, as well as education and empowerment through seminars for coaches.

The FIFA’s Women’s Development Programme aims to provide all 211 member associations with the opportunity to apply for, and access additional resources and specialist expertise to develop women’s football at a national level.

Member associations can apply for support across eight key areas of women’s football development during the 2020-2023 period. In addition to financial assistance to cover the costs in selected programmes, the FIFA Women’s Development Programme will also provide access to women’s football experts, additional equipment and technical support within FIFA.

“The Supercopa Femenil was born from the dream of bringing Mexican youth players to a competitive showcase for women’s football in our country, attracting the best academies that are supporting the development of players in this category. This has resulted in a life-changing experience to be scouted by national team staff, and those of Liga MX Femenil teams,” Lucia Mijares, FMF Technical Sports Development Director, said in a statement.

Andrea Rodebaugh, FIFA Women’s Football Consultant, added via FIFA:

“Observing the Supercopa Femenil in Mexico has been inspirational. Its implementation is helping strengthen pathways by showcasing talent, motivating players and coaches as well as sharing knowledge and unique experiences so that growth continues where needed. There is so much talent, potential and support from everyone in the FMF. I am very optimistic for the future.”

Karl Dodd, FIFA Women’s Football Expert, stated via FIFA:

“The Supercopa has been well organised and provides a great opportunity for players to gain experience playing against top teams in their age group. It also enables scouts to watch these players, and for coaches to undertake development workshops to further improve the positive impact they have on players, supporting their personal and professional development.”

EA Sports to be the title sponsor for all LaLiga competitions

EA Sports & LaLiga

Beginning from the 2023-24 season onwards, a new multi-year agreement between EA Sports and LaLiga will pave the way for new experiences, deeper in-game integrations, enhanced broadcast communications, and commitment to grassroots initiatives.

The one-of-a-kind, multi-year partnership will allow both parties to deliver groundbreaking experiences for global football fans, with EA SPORTS FC securing title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions.

In addition, the deal will see a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA Sports including all logos, graphics, fonts and other visual elements, while also delivering new in-game integration, broadcast highlights, and joint commitments to supporting grassroots initiatives.

This new partnership will encompass the first and second divisions of LaLiga (Spain’s top professional football competitions), LaLiga Promises (the league’s annual youth tournament) and eLaLiga.

“EA Sports FC is committed to delivering the most authentic and immersive experiences in global football. Our innovative new partnership with LaLiga further elevates that ambition and solidifies both organizations’ position at the centre of football culture,” David Jackson, VP Brand, EA Sports FC, said in a statement.

“The visible reach and scale of this partnership is deeply exciting, as is the opportunity to deliver incredible experiences for fans through in-game innovation, interactive entertainment and grassroots initiatives.

“EA Sports represents the cutting edge of interactive football experiences while LaLiga is at the forefront of actual football competitions with unmatched in-person, broadcast and digital fan experiences,” said Javier Tebas, President, LaLiga. “We have been strategic partners with EA Sports for years and this expanded agreement is a commitment to providing the next level of innovation to all football fans, a fusion between the virtual and real worlds of football.”

With this partnership, EA Sports and LaLiga will deepen their collaboration. Both LaLiga and EA Sports are committed to grassroots initiatives to grow the game which will include increasing accessibility, upgrading facilities, and many more initiatives to truly immerse fans into the world of football.

“This partnership with EA Sports is set to truly transform the way football is enjoyed around the world,” LaLiga Executive Director Óscar Mayo said via EA Sports.

“Moreover the alliance demonstrates LaLiga is a global brand, evidence of the success of our league to connect with fans internationally.

“We’re thrilled to partner with a worldwide leader in football fandom to better connect our fans to their favourite clubs, players, and LaLiga competitions,” said Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM, EA Sports FC. “The contributions from LaLiga to our EA Sports FC portfolio will be immense, not only from a visual aspect, but across technological and game development improvements, further blurring the lines between the real and virtual worlds of football.”

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