UEFA aim to double number of women players by 2024
By Simon Evans
BUDAPEST, May 17 (Reuters) - European soccer's governing body UEFA launched a five-year plan for women's football on Friday, aiming to double the number of women and girls playing the sport by 2024.
The strategy aims to raise the number of women and girls playing soccer in UEFA's 55 member associations to 2.5 million and significantly boost the profile and value of the women's Euro championship and Champions League.
"Women's football is the football of today, it's not the football of tomorrow," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement on Friday.
"It's UEFA's duty ... to empower the women's game.
"UEFA will put significant financial investment into the sport, underlining that it dares to aim high and make European football as great as it can be."
The plan also aims to improve player welfare by establishing standard agreements for internationals and putting safeguarding policies in place as well as doubling the amount of female representation on all UEFA bodies.
UEFA reported a 50% rise in the number of professional female players since 2017 and said twice as many women are now working in managerial positions across its national associations.
"The actions that we propose and commit to in 2019 will lead to a greater, more professional and more prosperous game by 2024," Ceferin added.
The Women's Champions League final between Lyon and Barcelona takes place in Budapest on Saturday.
(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)