Last month, supporters of women’s football came from all over the world to celebrate the introduction of women’s clubs to FIFA 23.
International women’s teams have been a part of the FIFA franchise since 2016, but FIFA 23 is the first instalment to feature domestic clubs.
The English Women’s Super League and France’s Division 1 Féminine have made history as the first women’s leagues to be available to play.
Secretary General of the French Football Federation Laura Georges sat down with Her Football Hub during the launch of FIFA 23 to discuss the milestone achievement.
“For us, it’s a big recognition of the work the clubs are doing, the investment from my Federation that will maybe put more light on clubs.” she said. “Now, I’m thinking of Lyon. I have been a player for Lyon, we are part of one of the best leagues in Europe, we have most of the best players in the world and to be in FIFA is a big recognition for our game.”
Georges represented D1 powerhouses Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon during her playing days. She won six league titles with the latter and also earned 188 senior caps with the French national team.Embed from Getty Images
While women’s football fans have been beating the drum for women’s clubs to be introduced to FIFA for years, Georges admitted she is “just happy it is finally happening.” She also feels as though now is the time for women’s football to “lead the way” for other sports while it is in the limelight.
“We hope everyone can get to this level. We hope sponsors will go and sponsor the women’s game in basketball and other sports. If we can lead the way then it’s good for women’s sport in general.”
2019 Women’s World Cup
Since France held the World Cup in 2019, women’s football has been on a massive upwards trajectory.
Bigger broadcast deals and sponsors have thrown their hats into the ring and the demand for tickets in England is at an all-time high since Euro 2022.
Georges reflected on the 2019 World Cup and hopes the domino effect will continue into next year when the tournament lands down under.
“We organised the last Women’s World Cup in France and there has been a huge momentum since,” she said.
“I really hope that New Zealand and Australia is going to be even bigger. This is what I hope for the women’s game — that people will still follow it even if the timezone is going to be very different.”Embed from Getty Images
What’s next for women’s football in FIFA?
Fans have been urging FIFA to introduce women’s clubs to the game for many years. Now that the glass ceiling has been cracked, it’s imperative we continue to push, not settle.
Sam Kerr became the first ever female FIFA cover star for this year’s edition, joining fellow global superstar Kylian Mbappe on the front of the game.
It’s an extremely bright future for women within FIFA and supporters can only expect to see this snowball continue to gather momentum.
EA Sports has already announced the introduction of the Women’s Champions League to the game, which will come into play in 2023.
There are endless possibilities now women’s clubs are finally in the mix.
“Maybe in FIFA 24 we can have new leagues, more teams, more championships. So people can feel like they have been to Spain, Italy and those fans can say ‘we are in the game,'” said Georges.
“But it’s little by little. I’m already happy we are seeing big stars in the game now.”