Visa Player Of The Match – Celebrating Female Footballers
The award, chosen by a panel of UEFA experts, is a great platform to champion our values of acceptance and equality, which is the driving force behind our work with UEFA Women’s Football
Women’s football has seen a tremendous growth in profile and popularity over the past few years. The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ was a clear demonstration of this, with TV records broken across the globe – an audience of 28.1 million tuned into the BBC’s coverage over the course of the tournament – and increased ticket sales.1
The momentum behind women's football, along with the interest among fans, was growing to heights it had never reached before. Media coverage and public interest of women’s sport was climbing. Funding and investments were bigger than ever.
With the entirety of sport feeling the force of the recent pandemic, our support of the women’s game has never been more important.
Throughout lockdown, we worked hard to sustain the momentum built in the first 18 months of our partnership with UEFA Women’s Football. To continue to help grow the game and raise the profile of the players, like many, we had to adapt to this new reality. Whilst we have continued to build impactful programmes like The Second Half, to support the development of personal and professional skills for female footballers, we did adapt other activity online. To help inspire young footballers, we developed #TrainAtHome in partnership with UEFA, showcasing fitness drills and exercises that people could do at home. Our European Team Visa female players also featured in a series of Love Letter films to build excitement for upcoming tournaments.
With the return of live sport, the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final represents a perfect opportunity for women’s football to shine once again, and for us to continue to drive impact through our seven-year partnership with UEFA.
For the second year running, we are delighted to celebrate individual excellence by sponsoring the Player of the Match award given to the player that demonstrates amazing play, skill or determination within the final. The award, chosen by a panel of UEFA experts, is a great platform to champion our values of acceptance and equality, which is the driving force behind our work with UEFA Women’s Football.
This year, we’re going one step further in supporting the winner of the Player Of The Match Award by giving them €50,000 to donate to one of the 245 projects supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children which uses football for social good. The Player of the Match winner will be given the opportunity to select a cause that resonates most strongly with their values and make a difference to the lives of those who need it.
There has never been a more important time to stand alongside women footballers. Governing bodies, sport organisations and sponsors around the world must continue to demonstrate their commitment to improve diversity and inclusion in sport. Here at Visa, we are proud of what we have achieved so far, but there is more to do, and we are striving to continue breaking new ground by empowering women on and off the pitch.
1 BBC News (2019), Women's World Cup: Record total audience of 28.1m watch BBC coverage