Ferns coach Jitka Klimkova takes part in coaches’ debrief of World Cup

Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková has attended a two-day forum of coaches in Switzerland to review the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

Current head coaches of the 32 participating national teams used the mid-January 2024 forum at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters to exchange views on technical, competition and refereeing matters.

Their views, in discussions with FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger and supported by two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis, will help make improvements to future tournaments.

Forum attendees included FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman and FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger. Photo credit: FIFA.

Topics for discussion included the proposed post-2025 international match calendar, a global club competition for women’s football, and the new expanded youth competitions, with the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup expanded to 24 teams and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup to be played annually in the future, and also with 24 teams.

After the forum, Klimková said she was pleased the forum gave the opportunity for coaches to get together and share ideas.

“We don’t have so many opportunities as coaches to sit down and discuss our game,” she said.

“Sometimes we feel a little bit isolated from the world because you are in that position it’s not so common to share with the other coaches.

“This is an amazing opportunity for us just to talk about football, talk about one of the best tournaments we’ve seen with women’s football.

“I take it as a huge learning opportunity.”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand had opened the eyes of the world to women’s football, and stressed the importance of building on that success when he opened the forum.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino addresses the coaches. Photo credit: FIFA.

Describing the event as “a very important forum for the future of women’s football all over the world”, Infantion said he was humbled to be in the presence of the coaches and thanked them for making the tournament — the first FIFA Women’s World Cup to feature 32 teams and be hosted by two nations — a huge global success.

He said the feedback of the coaches would be invaluable in setting out the future for women’s football.

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