Haifa Guedri, a graduate from the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme organised in cooperation with Cairo University (CU) in Egypt, has created EVA FOOT, a women's football academy for young female players that has just been registered with the Tunisian Ministry of Youth and Sport. Here, she explains how this beautiful adventure became a reality.
In what context was the EVA FOOT project born?
EVA FOOT is the extension of my CU/FIFA/CIES diploma. I wanted to put my final project into practice. Consequently, I decided to focus on women's football. Indeed, this sport had been suffering enormously since 2015. Everywhere else, it was making significant progress except in Tunisia. So we had to take the bull by the horns to make things happen.
What are the objectives of EVA FOOT?
Our objectives are both modest and very ambitious. In Tunisia, there are many girls who love football. We want to give them the opportunity to practice this sport. We want to train the best female junior football players in our country - our participants are between 7 and 14 years old - by providing them with excellent training conditions and increasing opportunities to play on the field.
How can this be achieved?
At the beginning, it was imperative to create an autonomous project, which we could manage in our own way, without external intervention. We have succeeded. Today, we can thus give the leadership of our structure to motivated women. We can also create opportunities to play football and coach teams that, outside of our action, would certainly never have existed.
How is EVA FOOT organised?
We are a non-profit association that consists of an academy for young players and a senior 5-a-side football team. In fact, we do not ask for any tuition because we want the girls to join us, which otherwise could be problematic. These are women in charge. The players who play in the senior team assume the role of coach for the younger players.
Have you already had any success?
Yes, our girls have qualified for international competitions such as the Red Bull Neymar Jr's Five or the Zayed Sports Tournament in Abu Dhabi where we finished third. Two of our players were also named best goaltender and "Golden Boot" at this sporting event.
What about the future?
We have many plans. We want to participate in other tournaments around the world. We want to intensify the training of our players, both in quality and quantity. But to continue our work, we absolutely must secure the support of sponsors to cover our expenses, which range from the allowances paid to our players and the cost of their equipment to the rental of playgrounds and travel expenses.
Any last words?
EVA FOOT wants to contribute to the rebirth of women's football in Tunisia. It's a wonderful project. I hope that many people will help us to achieve this.
For more information, please contact
Tel: +216 22 604 275