FIFA seminar to support Lao women's football

Posted by samakomlao Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Encouraging women's involvement in soccer for physical, mental and social health is the aim of the FIFA Women's Football Com-Unity programme.

FIFA together with Lao National Sports Committee (LNSC) held a seminar in Vientiane yesterday to promote women's football.

The interactive seminar showcased women's football experiences to local participants including representatives of government, football federations, international organisations and the sports committee.

Regional FIFA officials and participants shared insights on methods to improve all levels of Lao women's football.

LNSC Vice President Boualan Sripanya said the seminar dealt with preparations for the 25th SEA Games to be held in December, particularly as they relate to the women's game.

“Lao women's football is still missing some techniques and experience so this seminar will help them to improve as we prepare to host the games,” he said.

The seminar will run for three days and include presentations by FIFA members on women's football in the region and media discussions on how to improve coverage of women's football.

Organisers of the seminar also discussed the organisation of football friendlies, including the upcoming under-16 women's match between Laos and Cambodia on May 22.

FIFA Women's Football Committee and FIFA Instructor Ms Keri Michelle Cox said Laos boasted a good ranking for its women's football teams in the Asean region and FIFA could see the potential of the game.

“We really hope participants will demonstrate the potential of women's football during the three days of the seminar,” she said.

Women's football was officially established in Laos at the end of 2007, and the national team has attended various regional competitions since then.

There are 25 players in the U-16 squad and 30 at the national level.

Apart from the capital, the players hail from Khammuan, Xayaboury, Vientiane , Champassak and Savannakhet provinces.

Most come from poor families and want to make the most of this opportunity to make their name in football in the future.

Lao Women's Football Committee Vice Chairman Ms Valy Vetsaphong said the team had won matches in Singapore , Malaysia and Indonesia and drawn in the Philippines .

At the 24th SEA Games in Thailand they got through to the semi-finals on only their first appearance at the meet.

The team is ranked fifth in South East Asia, 15th in Asia and 74th in the world.

“ Laos is the first country in the world to which FIFA has donated a dormitory for our players because of the potential FIFA sees in our game,” she said.

The committee is awaiting the arrival of a coach from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to train the 30-strong women's squad before their departure for training in Vietnam in June.

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath

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