Scotland’s Women’s National Team squad will be able to train full-time for the FIFA 2019 World Cup thanks to additional funding from the SNP Government.
The financial support will allow those players in the national squad who are currently not professionals to train full-time from January ahead of the tournament in France.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP confirmed the funding at Hampden Park ahead of the Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week, commenting:
“I’m proud to be patron of the Scotland Women’s National Team and it’s been fantastic to see the hard work of the squad and staff pay off with their qualification for the FIFA World Cup next year.
“This funding will allow all members of the squad to train full-time from January 2019 through to the World Cup in the summer. This will help to strengthen women and girls’ football in Scotland, and give Shelley and her squad the best chance of success in the finals.
“We want to increase participation of women and girls in sport and I hope the success of the women’s team inspires more women and girls to get involved in sport, from grassroots activity to elite level.”
Head Coach Shelley Kerr said:
“It was an incredible achievement to qualify for our first ever World Cup. It was a special feeling but now it’s incredibly important we focus on the future and how best to prepare for the FIFA World Cup in France.
“We are determined to start the tournament in the best possible shape and are delighted to have the support of the Scottish Government through the Scottish Football Partnership.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Our National Women’s Team are a source of great pride and inspiration for women and girls across Scotland. This funding will not only help the squad achieve success next Summer in France; it will also help lift women’s football across the country to an even higher level.
“Football might just be our national sport, but any type of exercise we can get women and girls should be encouraged.
“I will be watching the draw on 08 December with interest and hope that come June, everyone in Scotland supports our women with the same enthusiasm they would give the men.”
The SNP Government, sportscotland, the Scottish Football Partnership and the Scottish FA will undertake work on the detail of the scheme, expected to cost around £80,000. This additional SNP Government funding will be delivered to the players through the Scottish Football Partnership.
Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week is on now; from 30 September to 05 October 2018.