Member Associations Survey Report

Grow the participation

Participation overview

The number of women and girls playing organised football has increased by nearly a quarter compared to 2019 (to 16.6m). These additional players are more evenly distributed across confederations, with players in Europe now making up a greater proportion of the global total than they did in 2019.

Women and girls playing organised football by confederation (%)

Women and girls playing organised football (24% growth since 2019)

Registered female players

Professional female players globally

Women’s football clubs globally

Female coaches: 5% out of total 901,000

Female referees: 9% out of total 731,500

Women’s football clubs

In total, the number of women’s football clubs in 2023 amounted to 55,622. These are highly concentrated in Europe with 59% of clubs located in this confederation, which is nearly three times that of the next largest (the AFC: 22%).

Proportion of women’s football clubs by confederation (%)

There is a clear correlation between the number of youth and senior competitions hosted by an MA and the number of football clubs in its jurisdiction. This is particularly apparent in the UEFA region, where youth and senior competitions represent 73% and 54% respectively of all women’s football competitions around the world.

Practical session during the FIFA Women's Club Licensing Malawi Workshop

Referees and coaches

The importance of increasing participation in women’s football not only relates to players, but also to all coaches, referees and many other key roles involved in the professionalisation of the game.

Proportion of female referees and coaches by confederation (%)

In May 2021, FIFA launched the Coach Education Scholarship Programme as part of an ongoing commitment to increase opportunities within football for female coaches. Through this programme, FIFA aims to create a network of coaches and ultimately increase the number of female coaches in football.

Referee Maria Laura Fortunato and assistant one Mariana Almeida (L) and assistant two Analia Caballero (R) gets into the pitch

FIFA’s Coach Mentorship Programme has been in place since 2018 and aims to keep top female coaches in the game, providing the next generation of elite coaches with the opportunity to be mentored by some of the women’s game’s most accomplished coaches.