Global Weekly Women’s Soccer Round-Up

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP KITS UNVEILED.  The jerseys that will grace this year’s tournament were revealed this week. Nike released bespoke and stylish kits for 14 of the 24 teams headed to France at an event in Paris. Each kit was made from at least 12 recycled plastic bottles, part of the sports apparel brand’s efforts to be an industry leader in environmental sustainability. Teams including the United States, England, Australia, Nigeria, France, and Brazil form part of the 14 who will be wearing the Nike kits. Although Adidas did not unveil their jerseys at an extravagant event, members of the German, Spanish, Scottish, Argentinean and Swedish teams will grace the tournament in equally stylish uniforms. Umbro also revealed its kits for Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz. (Source: Portland Business Journal and Footy Headlines)

2019 SOUTH ASIAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION (SAFF) WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP UNDERWAY.  The fifth edition of the biennial tournament is ongoing in Nepal and participating teams aside the hosts include India (reigning champions), Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan. The hosts have been runners-up on three occasions, falling to India every time. The tournament was initially to be played in Sri Lanka from 17-26 December 2018 but was rescheduled to 12-22 March 2019 after Sri Lanka withdrew as hosts. (Source: Wikipedia)

NIKE BECOMES MATCH BALL SUPPLIER FOR UEFA WOMEN’S COMPETITIONS.  After taking steps to separate to rights and partnerships from the men’s game, the European football governing body has entered into a high-profile five-year partnership with Nike which will see the global sportswear manufacturing brand become the exclusive designer and supplier of balls for all UEFA’s women’s competitions. This follows another landmark seven-year deal UEFA signed with Visa in December last year, which made the global payments technology company the main sponsor of UEFA Women’s Football. (Source: Sports Industry Group)

CAF SELECTS THREE FEMALE REFEREES FOR U-17 AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS.  The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Monday announced that 3 of the 29 selected referees and assistants who will be officiating at next month’s U-17 African Cup of Nations in Tanzania are women. They include Tanzanian referee Jonesia Rukyaa Kabakama and assistant referees Mary Wanjiru Njoroge (Kenya) and Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (Madagascar). According to CAF, the “historic decision is a testament to CAF’s commitment to developing women’s football and it provides a bigger platform to expose their talents as well as gain experience at a competitive level”. The tournament is scheduled for 14 – 28 April. (Source: CAF)

BAN ON AFGHANISTAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION HEAD EXTENDED.  FIFA has extended its ban on Keramuudin Karim, president of the Afghanistan Football Federation, by 90 days as investigations into allegations of sexual and physical abuse leveled against him by members of the country’s women’s national team continues. News of the allegations broke late last year when it was reported by the Guardian that a former member of the team, Khalida Popal, had put together details from former teammates that entailed violence, rapes, slander and death threats (read more about it here). Karim has since denied the allegations claiming there is a lack of evidence. (Source: France 24)

VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREES (VAR) SET TO DEBUT AT 2019 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP.  On Friday the FIFA Council had its ninth meeting in Miami where a number of decisions were taken regarding international competitions. The implementation of VAR at this summer’s Women’s World Cup was confirmed after its success in the men’s tournament in Russia last year (if you’re wondering how prepared the referees for the tournament are in using the system, they have been working with it at workshops since 2016). Aside from this decision, the Council has appointed India as host of the 2020 U-17 Women’s World Cup. (Source: FIFA)


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