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  • FIFA Targets Growth for Women's Football -- Federation Focus


    (ATR) FIFA launches its first-ever global strategy for women’s football.

    FIFA reveals strategy to grow women's game (Getty Images)
    The governing body of world soccer calls it a blueprint on how to work with all of the sport’s stakeholders “to realize the full potential that exists within the women’s game”.

    “The women’s game is a top priority for FIFA and via our new strategy we will work hand-in-hand with our 211 member associations around the world to increase grassroots participation, enhance the commercial value of the women’s game and strengthen the structures surrounding women’s football to ensure that everything we do is sustainable and has strong results,” FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said in a statement.

    “Most importantly it will make football more accessible to girls and women and encourage female empowerment, a subject of great importance, now more than ever before.”

    FIFA revealed its plans to develop and grow the women’s game from the grassroots just days after the latest slap in the face to the world’s elite female players.

    The FIFA calendar has the final for the 2019 Women’s World Cup set for July 7, the same day as the final for two continental men’s tournaments, the Copa America and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. There are never any competing fixtures for the men’s World Cup final.

    This follows the controversy from the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, where the women were required to play on artificial surfaces rather than on grass. FIFA forbids the use of plastic pitches for the men’s World Cup.

    FIFA did reveal last month that for the first time it would pay for business-class flights for teams that have a more than four hour flight to get to France for the 2019 Women's World Cup. The Associated Press reports that FIFA offers business-class flights for 50 members of every men's World Cup delegation. 

    "Unprecedented" Interest in Hosting World Table Tennis Championships 

    The International Table Tennis Federation says it has received “an unprecedented amount of interest” to host the 2021 and 2022 World Table Tennis Championships.

    A total of 13 countries from every continent officially registered their interest in hosting at least one of the events ahead of the September 30 deadline.

    The 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals will be the first edition under reforms passed earlier this year to expand the World Championships to ensure maximum participation of ITTF member National Associations.

    “I do not think any of us could ever imagine 13 countries showing official interest, but with the change we can all be proud that it shows we can take the biggest table tennis event on earth to all corners of the globe,” ITTF CEO Steve Dainton said in a statement.

    Australia, Chile, Germany, Morocco, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Tunisia and the USA are interested in the 2021 edition. Five of the eight - Chile, Germany, Morocco, Puerto Rico and Tunisia - also expressed interest for 2022, together with China, Japan, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

    The odds of having just the second ever World Table Tennis Championships held outside of Asia or Europe seem pretty good, given the interest from Africa (Morocco, Tunisia), the Americas (Chile, Puerto Rico, USA) and Oceania (Australia).

    The 1939 edition, held in Cairo, is still the only time the event has been held outside Asia or Europe.

    Interested cities have until Dec. 31 to submit detailed bids and a commitment to bid. The ITTF Selection panel will analyze and conduct inspections in January & February 2019 with a final decision on the 2021 and 2022 hosts to be made at the ITTF Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Budapest, Hungary in April 2019.

    (World Curling Federation)
    2018 World Mixed Curling Championship Begins Saturday 

    The 2018 World Mixed Curling Championship begins on Saturday in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

    Thirty-five countries are set to compete in the fourth edition of the event. Scotland is the reigning champion after defeating Canada to win the title last year in Switzerland.

    Teams will be split into four pools for preliminary round robin competition which runs through Oct. 18. The playoffs begin the next day, with the event wrapping up on Oct. 20 with the medal games.

    Written by Gerard Farek

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