The Athens Women’s Football Summit (AWFS) is part of the fight to nurture positive social change and achieve women’s equal footing in football. It is a gathering with the purpose of promoting diversity and true inclusion of women in the sport, building an international consensus around the goals and means to be pursued, and fostering global investment opportunities in women’s football – all while equipping attendees with the skills, confidence and contacts that they need to continue pushing forward.
Despite the long and impressive history of women in football … crude stereotypes, ridiculous myths, underinvestment and inane discriminatory policies/decrees/regulations have hindered and discouraged women from playing the game.
Women & girls have faced a range of daunting challenges that have prevented them from achieving their potential and reaching the top of their game, including unconscious bias, sexist attitudes, unsafe environments, as well as under-representation in coaching, sports media, ownership and the halls of power.
And yet, courageous pioneering girls and women play on and persevere. Together with their allies they continue to seek out the opportunity and respect they deserve and have promoted the fight for an equal playing field into an explosively evolving global movement where millions of girls and women around the globe play, follow, consume, suffer and rejoice in the Beautiful Game daily.
Media, investors and sponsors are rightly optimistic about the future of women’s football, and new, long-overdue changes have created unlimited opportunities. Women’s football is a rapidly growing market which provides both strong commercial potential and valuable corporate responsibility possibilities – and companies, federations and governments have finally begun to recognize and act upon this exciting new reality.
It is time for nations to cheer for and support their women on the field and in the football boardrooms. It is time to clear away barriers, neutralize the obstructionists, and seriously invest in the now and in the future. And where better to discuss, plan and celebrate this movement than in the city of Athens.
With its brilliant history of athletics, culture, innovation and democratic spirit, Athens can, as it is has done during its glorious past, serve as the cradle of new ideas, inventions and collaborations in support of the dreams and aspirations of girls and women around the world through football. Athens is the ideal arena for this undertaking and an exciting forum for exploring new business – all while enjoying one of the greatest cities in the world – and at the AWFS the right people, clubs, companies and investors will be in the room!
Join us on this our inaugural conference, and be part of history!
Marios Christos Sfantos
IBF – Partner, New York
Head of Communications at Valencia CF Academy New York
Adjunct Professor of Sport Law, Mercy College, New York
IBF – Founder & CEO
Ex-GM at PANATHINAIKOS FC