U.S. women's national team head coach Jill Ellis is welcoming FIFA's new initiatives in the women's game, but also questioned the sport's governing body over its choice to schedule two major men's finals on the same day as the 2019 Women's World Cup final.
FIFA announced a new global strategy for women’s football on Tuesday, with the aim of doubling female participation to 60 million by 2026.
The governing body also revealed plans to introduce a women’s equivalent to the men’s Club World Cup, among other initiatives.
"I think they're targeting participation numbers, they're targeting marketing. All these things are excellent for our game in terms of willingness to grow our sport, grow our brand, make it more available and supportive," Ellis said after Wednesday's win over Trinidad and Tobago in World Cup qualifying.
"I think it's great and we need to make sure that's supported."
Though FIFA continues to make strides to grow the women's game, it also continues to make decisions that undermine that particular goal.
The Copa America final in Rio de Janeiro and the Gold Cup final in Chicago are scheduled for July 7, 2019, the same day that the Women's World Cup final will also take place in Lyon, France.
Many have questioned whether FIFA would schedule any event the same day as a men's World Cup final, let alone two other major finals.
After her comments on FIFA's new women's football strategy, Ellis couldn't help but add her views on another perceived slight to the women's game.
"My own personal opinion is putting three finals in one day isn't supporting the women's game," the manager said.
FIFA controversially held the entire 2015 Women's World Cup at stadiums with artificial turf, and the governing body continues to not say whether video assistant referees will be used at the 2019 Women's World Cup, one year after the system was used at the men's event in Russia.