Rising stars: Albania’s new women’s football strategy

The Albanian Football Association (FSHF) unveils its pivotal roadmap for the women’s game with a launch ceremony in Tirana.

A year after releasing its overall strategy titled “Football for the Nation”, the FSHF has launched a new women’s football strategy, focused on advancing the female game on both the national and international stages.

“Rising stars” is the name of the new initiative that aims to create a vibrant ecosystem for women’s football in Albania, not only by developing world-class athletes but also by providing opportunities for leadership and engagement at all levels.

The strategy is based on four key areas:

  • Participation: double the number of registered female players by 2026.
  • Talent pathway and national teams: embed a national women’s and girl’s talent scouting programme by 2025.
  • Education and licensing: establish a women’s team in all 10 Elite Championship male clubs at senior, Under-17, and Under-15 levels by 2026.
  • Marketing, visibility & perception: elevate the commercial value of elite women’s football.

Armand Duka, President of the Albanian Football Association: “I am proud to lead an organisation that champions diversity and embraces the immense potential of women’s football. Together, let us work towards a future where every aspiring female footballer has the opportunity to shine and contribute to the legacy of our sport.”

Anila Basha, member of the FSHF executive committee: “Since March 2022, we have been working tirelessly to identify issues and generate solutions in women’s football, which have helped shape this strategic plan. I firmly believe that this strategy represents our commitment to enhancing the women’s game, and the ambitiousness of the plan is a testament to the belief that all of us at the association have in the potential of women’s football.”

Developing women’s football in Albania

Albania has been increasing opportunities and pathways for girls to play football in recent years, notably by taking part in UEFA’s development tournaments, creating more leagues and championships and promoting football to a younger audience with the UEFA Playmakers programme.

The 2023-2026 roadmap will continue building on the progress achieved so far, while also focusing on the top of the pyramid, securing engagement with the women’s game at the elite level.

Currently counting over 2,000 registered female players and 1,230 youth players, the FSHF aims to double these numbers, creating welcoming and accessible environments where women and girls can enjoy football and fulfill their potential. (Source: UEFA)