TODAY |

Kiwi clubs warned not to waste FIFA funds to help women's football

A newly-created fund by FIFA is starting to trickle through to the grassroots game here.

But it comes with a warning for the 31 football clubs in New Zealand, who received a slice of the $300,000 pie: Don't lose sight of what it's intended for.

Nearly $14 million was pledged to clubs across the globe for those who helped launch the careers of players at last year's Women's World Cup in France.

If a player made a World Cup squad, every club she played for between the ages of 12-22 (and the club she played for at the time of the tournament) is entitled to a portion of the fund.

Katie Duncan, Auckland United Girls Academy Director, doesn't want to see clubs using the money as a boost for the boys and men's teams.

"There is no excuse really," she says.

"That money has come from a women's player from playing at that club so it makes total sense to me, and it should to each and every club, to use it and give it back to the girls and women's environments."

Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Women's Football Officer, agrees.

"It's important that we recognise those clubs that have contributed to the success of those athletes."

However, she admits it's almost impossible to police where clubs invest the money, as around 800 clubs worldwide receive a payment.

"Absolutely, it is the idea that that money is reinvested back into the grassroots of women's football."

Auckland's Glenfield Rovers received over $27,000 for its player representation at the World Cup.

Football Ferns Nicole Stratford was a Rovers player, while Claudia Bunge, Hannah Wilkinson, Katie Bowen, and Steph Skilton all played there at one point or another in their young careers.

The club is using part the money to pay for a goalkeeping coach for their women's side, and various player development roles.
It also intends to replace old gear.

Full list of New Zealand clubs to receive funds from FIFA Women's World Cup Club Benefits Programme:
Bay Olympic, Blue Rovers Junior FC, Burwood AFC, Cashmere Technical, Central United, Claudelands Rovers, Coastal Spirit, Eastern Suburbs, Fencibles United, Forrest Hill Milford United, Glenfield Rovers, Halswell United, Havelock North Wanderers, Lynn-Avon United, FC Twenty 11, Massey University FC, Maycenvale United, Miramar Rangers, Napier City Rovers, Northern United, Norwest United, Onehunga Sports, Palmerston North Marist, Papakura City, Papamoa, Rotorua United, Three Kings United, Upper Hutt City, Waterside Karori, West Auckland, Western Springs.