St. George's Park is hosting the 2014 Muslim Women Sport Foundation (MWSF) Futsal Festival.
The two-day event is taking place over the weekend and is welcoming over 140 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women and girls from across the UK.
The event will also see National Governing Body representatives from across England attending and input from a number of key organisations in football, including Kick It Out.
About the MWSF
- Established in 2001
- Trained the the British Muslim Women's Squad to the International Women's Islamic Games
- Activities organised include training sessions, leagues, tournaments and courses in Futsal, Basketball and Badminton
- Clubs established in London, Essex, Birmingham and Manchester
Commenting on the tournament, The National Women’s Development Manager, Rachel Pavlou, said: “We are delighted to again support the MWSF at their 2014 Futsal Festival.
"As well as this being the first event of its kind to be held at St. George’s Park, this a huge event for us given our work across inclusion and diversity.
"The Football Association’s National Game Strategy 2011–2015 and Women’s Football Strategy 2013–2018 recognise the importance of equality and inclusion across the game.
"We really hope that the participants at the MWSF Futsal Festival are inspired to continue being a part of our game for years to come.”
England internationals Jess Clarke and Fern Whelan attended on Saturday, while Sarah Winckless will be present on Sunday 2 March.
The Futsal Festival will be a celebration of diversity, showcasing the MWSF’s partnership with the FA and the pioneering work being carried out to make football more inclusive.
“We really hope that the participants at the MWSF Futsal Festival are inspired to continue being a part of our game for years to come”
Rachel Pavlou National Women's Development Manager
In addition to the main tournament, the MWSF will be hosting three seminars to encourage more inclusion across all areas of sport, including a women in sport panel and Kick It Out’s Mentoring and Leadership programme seminar.
Chair of the MWSF, Rimla Akhtar, added: “The 2014 Futsal Festival will be taking place over two days for the first time in its six year history with 14 teams and women and girls from across the UK all coming together around a common love of football.
“This event aims high and shows what can be achieved when Governing Bodies support our organisation.
“The impact of our previous Futsal Festivals is clear to see and we expect the legacy of this event to continue to reach women from diverse communities, thereby contributing significantly to our attempts to make sport truly inclusive.”
Football's world governing body, FIFA, has officially sanctioned the wearing of religious headscarves.
The announcement made at the Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in Zurich, Switzerland follows a successful trial period which began in July 2012.
"The IFAB approved the modification to the interpretation of 'Law 4 -- The Players' Equipment' specifying the provisions by which male and female players can now wear head covers," read a statement on FIFA's website on Saturday.
"After a two-year pilot, The IFAB agreed that there was no indication as to why the wearing of head covers should be prohibited..."