Home » Women’s football – News – Women’s football in Central Asia is back on track after the pandemic

Women’s football – News – Women’s football in Central Asia is back on track after the pandemic

by archyw
  • The Central Asian Association is using FORWARD funds as start-up aid for women’s football
  • Strict rules ensured 0 COVID-19 cases before, during and after the tournament
  • The duel between Uzbekistan and IR Iran was decided because of the goal difference.

The Central Asian Football Association CAFA is using funds from the FIFA FORWARD development program to get women’s football back on track. After two years without tournaments, forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the association now hosted its U-20 women’s championship, which ended on June 18.

The U-20 selection teams from Afghanistan, IR Iran, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan traveled to a five-nation tournament in the Tajik capital Dushanbe. The sixth CAFA member Turkmenistan was unable to attend due to travel restrictions.

“Everyone missed football a lot and we are very happy that we were able to host this event,” said CAFA President Rustam Emomali. “We are trying to promote women’s football in our region because there is enormous potential.”

CAFA General Secretary Ulugbek Karimov added: “The support from the FIFA FORWARD development program is crucial. I think we should host more international tournaments like this and we hope that life for the people in our region will slowly return to normal. We hold our competitions almost always in front of a full house. “

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FIFA Forward Programme

All games were played in the central stadium in Dushanbe, a venue that is also used by the Tajik senior team for their home games. No spectators were allowed due to the COVID-19 protective measures. The tournament was conducted in strict compliance with local medical regulations and the CAFA rules for game operations. All facilities were thoroughly disinfected before and after the games, and participants and LOC members were regularly checked for temperature and health.

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“This tournament finally gave the girls a chance to play again,” said Kyrgyzstan coach Valerii Berezovskii. Compared to men’s football, the girls have fewer games at national team level. For many players it was their first participation in an international tournament. Such an event is a valuable opportunity to meet new people and see old friends again. “

For Uzbekistan coach Ilkham Khanjariyev, the tournament was also a welcome opportunity to try out new players and experiment tactically: “Our team is now almost 70 to 80 percent ready. I hope that we will get a good result for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers prepared team. We would like to thank the organizers for the excellent organization and the warm welcome. “

The tournament was full of excitement and action. The decisive game between the two top favorites IR Iran and Uzbekistan turned out to be a gripping duel. The Iranians took the lead through Zohreh Erfani. With a brace, Zarina Mamatkarimova then gave Uzbekistan the lead before Negin Zandi Dareh Gharibi, who later became the tournament’s best player, equalized.

Since Uzbekistan and IR Iran were tied with ten points each, the goal difference decided the tournament victory. Uzbekistan ended up in first place and IR Iran in second. Kyrgyzstan took third place, Afghanistan and Tajikistan completed the ranking. Uzbek striker Jasmina Abduganieva became the top scorer.

“Our team is very happy that we were finally able to take part in an international CAFA tournament after a long time,” said the victorious captain Tojinisokhon Rashidova. “All our opponents deserve our respect, and regardless of the results, we’ve learned something new from every game. For players our age, such experiences are invaluable.”

The Central Asian association CAFA plans to continue using funds from the FIFA FORWARD development program. Four more tournaments are planned for 2021, namely two for girls in the U-17 and U-23 age groups in July and two for boys in the U-15 and U-18 age groups in the further course of the year.

In Tajikistan, the FIFA Women’s Football Department has approved two development projects for which funds for women’s football from the FIFA COVID-19 relief plan have been earmarked.

Funding up to $ 50,000 will be used towards a league development plan, with the potential of a technical expert for two years. A further USD 10,000 will go towards a campaign for women’s football. Both projects were selected by the member association from eight development programs launched by FIFA in September 2020.

Another women’s football campaign is also being supported in Kyrgyzstan. Plans are currently being drawn up for the introduction of a U-13 league in this country as well.

FIFA launches program for member associations to further promote women's football

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FIFA launches program for member associations to further promote women’s football


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