5 Facts About Women’s Football

Posted on: June 9th, 2019 | by Laura Murdoch | No Comments

Friday saw the FIFA Women’s World kick off in France and it’s going to be a big year for football. The tournament is being held in France and will run until 7th July. This is only the 8th time that the tournament has been held after is started in 1991. That’s a whopping 61 years after the men’s first World Cup match.  Over the next month, 9 stadiums will be hosting 52 matches being played by 24 teams. Of those 24 teams, only four have ever won the title: reigning champions the USA, Japan, Norway, and Germany. Nearly one million tickets have been sold and the opening match, semi-finals, and the final all sold out within 48 hours. It’s going to be the biggest Women’s World Cup in history and is proving that, finally, women’s football is getting the recognition it deserves.

Tonight, the England team take part in their first match against Scotland. In honour of this, we’ve brought together 5 facts about women’s football for you to enjoy whilst you’re waiting for the match to start.

1. Women’s Football was Banned in 1921

Women’s football has been a steadily growing sport for a few years now and, especially in the wake of the 2015 World Cup in Canada, interest in the sport has increased. However, in the early 1920s women’s football was derailed when the FA banned the sport.

On December 5th 1921, female footballers were prevented from playing the sport on FA pitches and FA members were banned from acting as referees and linesmen at their games.

The FA released a statement saying it thought that football was “quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged”. Several doctors agreed that the sport posed a serious physical risk to women.

The ban meant women were relegated to only playing football recreationally. At least until 1971, when the ban was finally lifted following the formation of the Women’s Football Association a few years earlier. To find out more about these darks days in women’s football history historyextra.com has a great article about it.

2. Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva was given the nickname “Pelé in skirts” by Pelé himself

Marta is often regarded as the greatest female player of all time. She has been named FIFA World Player of the Year six times. Five times in a row between 2006 and 2010 and most recently in 2018. This is not only a record for female players but for men too. Marta is a fantastic player and an inspiration to so many. And the 32-year-old doesn’t appear to have any plans of slowing down any time soon. Brazil has their first against Jamaica today so we’re sure they’ll be some world-class football on display. For those not watching, you can see just she’s capable of with this goal against the USA in the 2007 World Cup.

3. Sorry boys but the England team is more successful than the men’s

The women’s England team have qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup four times. They’ve reached the quarter-finals three times and finished 3rd in the 2015 World Cup. They also came third in the 2017 Euros. They were only taken on by the FA in 1993, which makes them a fairly young team. The women are also currently ranked 3rd in the world by FIFA whilst the men come in at 4th. England play their first match against Scotland this evening and are tipped as one of the teams to watch throughout the competition. Could this be England’s year?

4. Bob Marley’s daughter is part of the reason Jamaica is at the World Cup

The Reggae Girlz are Jamaica’s national women’s team and they will be the first Caribbean squad to ever compete at the World Cup. They have obviously done this by proving their skills on the pitch but they have also had a bit of help from the family of the greatest Reggae artist of all time. Cedella Marley, the oldest daughter of Bob Marley, helped revive the team.

Back in 2010, the team got their funding cut in favour of the men’s team. When Cedella heard about this in 2014, she spearheaded a campaign to raise funds for the team. Cedella donated her own money and created a song, “Strike Hard”, in honour of the campaign.

5. Australia’s Sam Kerr is the highest-rated female player on Fifa 19

Sam Kerr is the 25-year-old captain and striker for the Australian team. She is the all-time goalscorer in the American NSWL and Australia’s W-League. Kerr made her debut 10 years ago and has more earned her fair share of honours. She was the winner of the US domestic league golden boot in both 2017 and 2018. In 2018, she won Young Australian of the Year in 2018 and was nominated for the Fifa best player award.

Kerr is a prolific goal scorer. She finished the Australian season as the top scorer and is also top of the charts in the US. She just happens to be the all-time record scorer in both leagues. Kerr is well-known for her goal celebration backflips, which, we have to admit, are pretty spectacular.

Kerr is also the highest-rated female player in Fifa 19. Her rating of 89 is higher than Mohamed Salah. Australia has reached the quarter-finals for the past three World Cups, so could this be their year to get further?


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