Historic Landmark: Belgium has 50,000 women and girls playing football

The Royal Belgian Football Association has achieved a historic achievement. For the first time in history, in our country there are at least fifty thousand girls and women playing football. The honor falls to Louisa Degé (12) from Goé near Verviers of RFC Goé. The Belgian Football Association honors her on Saturday 10 December. The number of girls and women playing soccer has increased by about 10% year over year since 2019, which represents about 4,000 more players per season. KBVB aspires to connect an additional 5,000 players in the coming years.

Three years ago, the Royal Belgian Football Association launched the ambitious “The World Between Our Feet” action plan to develop women’s football in Belgium. In August 2019, our country had 38,500 soccer players. One year and two years after Corona, the number of affiliated players has grown by 30% to 50,000. The ambition is to continue to grow by about 10% annually through several initiatives that feed the football bug in girls and women.

Three years ago we expressed our ambition to double the number of girls and women playing football in Belgium by the end of 2024. The fact that after three years, including two difficult ones from Corona, we are joining our 50,000th player today, reinforces our belief that we can still achieve good growth in the country. The next two years together with our regional federations Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF.” – Katrin Jans, RBFA Women’s Football Manager

Luisa Digi was born into football

Luisa Digi is the fifty thousandth female soccer player in Belgium. You receive an official trophy from the Belgian Football Association. It’s no coincidence that Louisa wears soccer shoes: her mother, Cécile Carnaul, played for Standard Liège for 13 years and earned 37 caps for our national soccer girls between 1996 and 2003. RFC Goé, where Louisa trains, is also pleased that she played Her role contributes to the growth of women’s football in our country.

“I have two very athletic daughters. Together with her sister, Luisa has been doing gymnastics at a high level for six years. But in September she felt like a new sporting challenge. We introduced her to different sports, but she was determined to play football. I’m glad that Girls’ soccer has developed tremendously.Every game Luisa plays against teams where other girls also play soccer.Very different than when I used to play soccer myself at Goé.As a mother, I think it’s important that my daughters also develop themselves outside of school , mainly because they are enjoying themselves with their friends. Luisa does that now every week on the soccer field.” – Cecile Carnoll, mother of Louisa DeGee and former scientist

“We are very proud that Luisa has chosen our club to start playing football. We hope that being recognized as the 50,000th football star will inspire the girls in the neighborhood to join us as well. Today we have partnerships with neighboring clubs to allow talented girls to apply because we do not have enough girls to form separate teams.” “For the girls. We would like to do that in the future. The girls who play with us today are often the driving forces of the team and contribute to a relaxed, sporty atmosphere.” – Laurent Sarlette, Vice President and Youth Coordinator, RFC Goé.

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5,000 more players per year

The growth of women’s football in Belgium is not only due to the performance of the Red Flames. The many initiatives taken by the Belgian Football Association along with regional football associations Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF to boost girls’ enthusiasm is essential to sustaining growth year after year. For example, this school year, the RBFA launched the Love Football campaign for the third time, in which qualified coaches travel to schools across Belgium to give free football lessons and thus encourage young girls to play football.

“We are still ambitious and want to connect 5,000 more players every year. Although we see more and more girls playing football, we notice that less than ten percent of all footballers in Belgium are women. So we are moving with our federations To put women’s soccer on the map for girls ages 5-12 with Love Football. In addition, there are many other soccer projects to harness more girls and women to the game. Think of our Disney training courses or Football Festivals.” – Catherine Jans, Director of Women’s Football at the RBFA

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