Senedd committee report highlights concerns for women's football in Wales

Wales women training session
Wales women are currently second in their Euro 2021 qualification group, behind leaders Norway

A Welsh Parliament committee report has highlighted concerns about the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on women's football in Wales.

Football Association of Wales (FAW) chief executive Jonathan Ford told the Senedd on 11 June the women's game is at risk of being "completely torn up".

In March, the FAW Trust said participation in women's football in Wales had grown by 50% since 2016.

"We sincerely hope that this valuable work is not undone," said the report.

"We recommend that Sport Wales' financial support should be focused on organisations facing the greatest challenges."

In March, a record 8,600 women and girls were signed up to football clubs in Wales, with the rise in player numbers coinciding with the national team narrowly missing out on 2019 World Cup qualification.

Wales Women manager Jayne Ludlow said earlier in June that she was optimistic the pandemic will not halt the growth of the game, but said clubs will have to "tighten their belts".

"I think there are lots of good people in high-level positions in the game that will still want to ensure it carries on growing," Ludlow added.

Wales are scheduled to be back in action on 22 September in a rearranged Euro 2021 qualifier away to Norway.

Ford earlier this month called on the Welsh Government to allow fans into stadiums at a reduced capacity to enable clubs to earn money when they return to competitive matches.

However the Welsh Government say that "changes will only be made when it is safe to do so".