News FIFA Council Approves Women’s International Match Calendar 2026-2029 Calendar

The FIFA Council met in advance of the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, and adopted several key decisions, particularly in relation to the future of women’s football, for which the international match calendar was unanimously approved.

The Women’s International Match Calendar (WIMC) 2026-2029 is the result of a consultation process which has been underpinned by extensive research and analysis in coordination with the confederations and other stakeholders. Based on a player-centric approach, the WIMC 2026-2029 will provide more opportunities for rest and recovery for players throughout the calendar, with a reduction in the number of windows from six to five facilitating less disruption to domestic leagues and reduced travel. Additionally, following the FIFA Council’s decision in December 2022 to approve the strategic principle of introducing a FIFA Women’s Club World Cup™ and subsequent extensive consultation with the confederations and other stakeholders, it was proposed that the inaugural edition of the competition be contested by 16 teams in January-February 2026.

The tournament will be held every four years. Further details will follow in due course. To facilitate the continued global development of women’s clubs and based on requests from the confederations to provide ample playing opportunities on a yearly basis, it was further proposed that an additional FIFA women’s club competition be organised in non-FIFA Women’s Club World Cup years as from 2027. To further protect the well-being of female players and coaches, and following the FIFA Council’s mandate from 14 March 2023, FIFA will amend the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players as of 1 June 2024 to focus on the following key points that have been thoroughly discussed with football stakeholders.

Extending the rights and protection to adoptive parents as well as non-biological mothers Recognising the physical, psychological and social dimensions in the event of an inability to provide employment services due to severe menstruation or medical complications relating to pregnancy Encouraging associations to facilitate attachment and emotional balance for female players with their families while on international duty “The Women’s International Match Calendar and the subsequent amendments to our regulations represent an important milestone in our pledge to take the women’s game to the next level by enhancing competitiveness across the world, particularly in those regions where women’s football is less developed and protecting the well-being of the players. Having agreed the calendar well in advance will be beneficial for planning purposes,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“We would like to thank all the confederations and other stakeholders for their efforts and commitment towards our common goal.” The FIFA Council unanimously supported the global stand against racism in football that will be presented at the 74th FIFA Congress on Friday, 17 May. The FIFA Council formally appointed Mattias Grafström (Sweden/Netherlands) as FIFA Secretary General following his nomination on an ad interim basis in October 2023. “I am humbled and deeply honoured to have been appointed FIFA Secretary General and I would like to thank the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, the Confederation Presidents, the Vice-Presidents and the members of FIFA Council for having trusted me to serve football in such an important position,” said Secretary General Mattias Grafström.

“Football is my passion since I was born. I started playing it as a child and worked in football all my life at all different levels. There are therefore no words to express my feelings as I accept with pride and with a great sense of responsibility, the biggest challenge of my professional life. Together with the FIFA team, I will of course dedicate myself more than ever to the service of our beautiful game of football, FIFA and its 211 Member Associations.” Additionally, the FIFA Council approved the formation of a working group to gather further information and issue recommendations regarding potential amendments to the FIFA Regulations Governing International Matches.

In relation to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™, in line with the voting procedure approved by the FIFA Council on 14 March 2024, it was confirmed that the joint bid by the Royal Belgian Football Association, the Royal Netherlands Football Association and the German Football Association, as well as the single bid by the Brazilian Football Association, have been submitted to the 74th FIFA Congress for a final decision. Tournament updates: The FIFA Council also confirmed the following tournament updates:

FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup 2025™: The first edition of the event will take place in the Philippines.

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup™ Morocco 2025-2029: The slot allocation will be as follows: AFC: 4; CAF: 5; Concacaf: 4; CONMEBOL: 4; OFC: 2; UEFA: 5.

FIFA U-17 World Cup™ Qatar 2025-2029: The slot allocation was confirmed as follows: AFC: 9; CAF: 10; Concacaf: 8; CONMEBOL: 7; OFC: 3; UEFA 11.

FIFA Arab Cup: At the request of the Qatar Football Association, Qatar will host the tournament in 2025, 2029 and 2033, which will follow the principle of an invitational competition not included in the International Match Calendar.

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