Scotland progress up the rankings can continue with new support.
Additional support will help the Scottish women’s football team progress up the world rankings, Sport Minister Shona Robison pledged today.
Following a meeting with UEFA President Michel Platini last year, Ms Robison is in Stockholm this weekend as a guest of UEFA to take part in a key panel discussion at a Women’s Football Conference. The gathering of 54 football associations will discuss the way ahead for women's football and generate new ideas.
Women’s football is now the fastest growing sport in Scotland and Ms Robison confirmed she is planning new support to improve the current training environment for national players.
Since Anna Signeul became the Scotland women’s football manager in 2005, the side has made significant progress in the world rankings, rising from 29th to 20th in the FIFA world rankings and from 17th to 11th in the UEFA European rankings.
Ms Robison told the audience:
“Women’s football in Scotland is going from strength to strength and the Scottish Government is a committed supporter. We have an excellent working relationship with the Scottish FA and Scottish Women’s Football, and have played a key role the growth of girl’s and women’s football in Scotland. That has helped the national team reach its highest ever ranking and the Glasgow City team reach the latter stages of UEFA Women’s Champions League competition.
“Girl’s and women’s football is the fastest growing sport in the world. The Scottish FA and national team is raising the profile of women’s football by winning games and providing positive role models. That’s why it is now the top team sport for girls in Scotland, with over 200,000 girls trying football through our Active Schools Programme last year.
“sportscotland have invested more than £2.2 million into women’s football to fund the national coach, assistant national coach, under 19s coach and a number of other posts, with the sportscotland institute of sport providing strength and conditioning, performance lifestyle and physiotherapy support.
“So we are in good shape, but the heartbreak of the national team just missing out on the Euro 2013 finals in the dying moments of a playoff encourages us to do more to build on this success. I plan to offer additional support to improve the current training environment for national players to help them to deliver on the international stage. More detail on that will be available in the autumn and I am confident that will help our national team compete with the best in the world.”