Soccer-UEFA introduce minimum standards framework for women's national teams

FILE PHOTO: Flags with UEFA logo are seen outside of the Union of European Football Associations headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, October 5, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

(Reuters) - UEFA released details of their first-ever minimum standards framework for women's national teams, after consultations with players, coaches and FIFPRO Europe, in an announcement on Monday.

The framework, approved by the UEFA Executive Committee in June, is aimed at levelling the playing field for women footballers across Europe.

"Today's announcement marks the culmination of our five-year women's football strategy, Time for Action," UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement.

"While this is a significant milestone, we are already looking ahead to the next steps.

"As we advance, UEFA remains fully dedicated to supporting our member associations and empowering players."

The minimum standards framework includes a range of provisions covering good governance, coaching, training, medical care, player welfare, accommodation and remuneration.

It will be supported by the UEFA HatTrick Incentive Programme which makes available a total of 22 million euros ($23.15 million) to national associations until 2028, with each association receiving 100,000 euros ($105,210.00) per year.

The minimum standards set out by UEFA include access to national training facilities, maximum use of international windows and travel to game venues which prioritises the most direct route.

It also includes a minimum of one team doctor and two physiotherapists at all matches and training sessions plus players and association agreement on remuneration, parental and pregnancy policies and anti-discrimination.

"Having the best possible conditions on and off the pitch is absolutely vital for players to perform and in return bring success to their national teams," Nadine Kessler, UEFA Managing Director for women's football said.

"We have a highly competitive landscape nowadays, so standards must be grown alongside them."

($1 = 0.9505 euros)

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; editing by Clare Fallon)

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