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.

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.

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

Australia awarded hosting rights for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026

Football Australia have announced that the country has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2026 edition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

This decision followed official ratification by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee at their meeting on 15 May 2024 – held in Bangkok, Thailand – on the eve of the 34th AFC Congress after lengthy discussions. Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan had expressed interested in hosting but withdrew from the process.

This will be the second time the country has staged the Women’s Asian Cup, having previously hosted the competition in 2006.

This tournament will feature 12 of the qualified AFC nations, placed into three groups of four with matches played in the confirmed host states of New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia.

Australia co-hosted the record-breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 alongside New Zealand, with the Matildas making it to the semi-finals and have grown the sport exponentially over the past 12 months.

The success of Australian national teams, including the Subway Socceroos and CommBank Matildas, has led to a nationwide increase in football participation, with an overall 12% increase in 2023 and an impressive 20% increase already noted in 2024.

Football Australia is leveraging the AFC Women’s Asian Cup as a platform to further boost participation and develop the sport, aligning with upcoming international events like the Brisbane 2032 Olympics & Paralympics.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa explained the exciting decision to reward Australia another major women’s football tournament.

“On behalf of the Asian Football Confederation, I offer our sincere congratulations to Football Australia on being confirmed as hosts of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026,” he said in a statement.

“I am confident that we will see a more vibrant and competitive edition in 2026 in Australia where the unrivalled passion for the women’s game is so palpable and we wish the Local Organising Committee the very best of success in their planning and preparation.

“I know the Asian football family joins me in reinforcing our confidence in Football Australia to elevate the ever-evolving stature and growth of women’s football in Asia.”

Football Australia Chairman Anter Isaac mentioned the benefits this will bring to the game in Australia.

“Securing the AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a testament to our nation’s dedication to football. It is not only a victory for the sport but for every Australian, offering significant economic and cultural benefits,” he added in a statement.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the AFC, its Executive Committee, the Secretariat, and our fellow member associations for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting this prestigious tournament. We are committed to advancing the exceptional initiatives already established and delivered by the AFC and the broader Asian football community in women’s football.”

Football Australia confirmed its intention to launch a hosting bid in September 2022 and now expects the Women’s Asian Cup to generate up to $260 million in economic output and create over 1,000 jobs for the host states.

These states were chosen after discussions with state governments to ensure they are fully prepared to support the successful delivery of the tournament.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson expressed his excitement for the winning bid and upcoming tournament being played on home soil.

“We are profoundly honoured to host the 2026 edition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup. This decision reflects the global football community’s confidence in our capability to deliver outstanding events. Following the resounding success of last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™, we are eager to create another tournament that celebrates women’s football and inspires a new generation,” he stated.

The tournament dates in 2026 will be confirmed with the AFC in due course and training and venue inspections will occur in the coming months.

It remains an extremely exciting time for women’s football in Australia, with the Matildas consistently selling out large stadiums, the growth of the Liberty A-League and now another major tournament on the horizon that is sure to boost the grassroots game as well.

Football Queensland confirm radio collaboration with Sea FM and Mix FM

Football Queensland (FQ) recently confirmed a duel radio partnership with Airwaves Sea FM and Mix FM, with both stations to provide support for events and tournaments in the state.

The collaboration was made official via the FQ website, both stations will simultaneously provide a media platform for important FQ tournaments and events.

Both media companies are situated across the Sunshine Coast, with the agreement between the pair and FQ to operate throughout the remainder of the calendar year.

90.9 Sea FM have remained a prominent commercial radio outlet throughout the Sunshine Coast since their first live air date, stemming all the way back in 1989.

Comprehensive throughout their distribution, the outlet are predominantly a music based radio station, targeting a broader audience demographic.

To showcase further involvement within the broader community, the original partnership between the radio station and FQ has proved the fruitful acquisition for both parties, this is the second year running the two entities have collaborated.

Falling under the same ownership umbrella with Sea FM, Mix FM have made head-waves throughout the airwaves across the sunshine coast as a commercial radio targeted towards an older age demographic.

As publicised upon the FQ website, CEO Robert Cavallucci discussed his appraisal for the continued partnership between Mix FM and Sea FM.

“Football Queensland is excited to again partner with Sea FM and Mix FM for our 2024 Sunshine Coast events and tournaments following a successful partnership in 2023. We look forward to bringing these events to the Sunshine Coast community with the support of the two local stations as we work together to provide high quality and exciting events for all participants.”

A magnitude of events are scheduled to be showcased upon both platforms throughout the duration of the 2024 football calendar year.

The FQ Academy Junior Cup, WinterFest24, FQ Premier League 3 Grand Finals and Pacific Championships are all upon the broadcasting wish list.

Both Radio outlets are to continue in within the rich vein of form they showcased throughout the 2023 football season.

Continuing on with their respective on-site activities while ensuring that engagement with the community remains at its optimal level.

There is a uniqueness surrounding what this partnership means to a broader community of people within the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.

The participants involved within the events will have a profound feeling of importance, noticing that the events they are participating are being featured on a live broadcast.

It also allows for aspiring broadcasters to have a genuine platform to kick-start their journalism careers upon.

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