BUDAPEST (Reuters) - European soccer's governing body UEFA launched a five-year plan for women's football on Friday, aiming to double the number of women and girls playing the sport by 2024.
The strategy aims to raise the number of women and girls playing soccer in UEFA's 55 member associations to 2.5 million and significantly boost the profile and value of the women's European Championship and Champions League.
"Women's football is the football of today, it's not the football of tomorrow," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement on Friday.
"It's UEFA's duty ... to empower the women's game.
"UEFA will put significant financial investment into the sport, underlining that it dares to aim high and make European football as great as it can be."
The profile of the women's game has grown significantly in recent years with major European clubs developing teams and competing in UEFA's Women's Champions League.
The Women's World Cup, organized by FIFA, will be held in France from June 7 and is expected to be the highest profile edition yet of the tournament.
*********FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, April 15, 2016.