Only 1% of the football coaches in Europe are ethnic minority women

Arne van Lienden awarded with an UEFA Research Grant for research on the lack of women of ethnic minority backgrounds in coaching
Women football
Woman holding football

The progress of women’s football in the last decade or so has been astounding. People across the world have found role models among the excellent players and exciting personalities that women’s football keeps producing. But did you know that only around 1% of all professional football coaches in Europe are women of ethnic minority backgrounds? In his research project, financed by the UEFA Research Grant Programme, Arne van Lienden will focus on this striking underrepresentation and what effective measures at strategic level can be taken to bolster the presence of ethnic minority women in football coaching and coaching education.

To answer the research question ‘What are effective measures at the strategic level of football governance that can bolster the presence of ethnic minority women in elite football coaching and coaching education?’, Arne will interview several (aspiring) female coaches of ethnic minority background and football stakeholders in both The Netherlands and England. But maybe even more important and innovative, he will include participant observations at coaching education sessions to his research. These education sessions are important sites where progress can be made for the inclusion of ethnic minority women.

This research project, which has been supported by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), will contribute to various initiatives with the aim to make football better reflect the diversity in wider society. The outcomes of this research will help UEFA to reach and engage with a group that is particularly absent in football coaching today despite general increases in the number of female coaches in Europe.

UEFA Research Grant Programme

Arne van Lienden is granted a financial contribution of €12.500 by the UEFA Research Grant Programme for his research. The UEFA Research Grant Programme was founded in 2009 with the aim to support visionary research that improves strategic decision-making in European Football. Yearly, researchers who are analysing European football from a variety of academic disciplines can apply for a grant up to €20.000. Once completed, the research outcomes are shared with the 55 UEFA member associations and is used for growth and development purposes within the UEFA.


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