For the first time in a generation the Women’s World Cup is starting to generate more interest than it has ever done before. This is thanks in part to the England and Scotland’s team participation but also the general level and skill and professionalism that has come into the game over the last five years. Now with a high profile manager in Phil Neville the names of Captain Steph Houghton, Strikers Toni Duggan and Nikta Parris plus brilliant Right Back Lucy Bronze there is a huge buzz around the team who placed an impressive and unexpected third last time round four years ago.
The Women’s national team has suddenly found itself on a slightly even billing as the Men’s team. Where the Men were the England lions the ladies are now the Lionesses, making the most of the three Lions on the England shirt. They play in a kit identical to that of the men’s in colour and quality. It’s that kind quality that you can get at kitking with Football Kits available in a variety of designs. They get the same level of organisation and respect. In a mark of total acceptance you can even play as them in the FIFA EA sports games and female players are even starting to make the front cover alongside their male counterparts.
All of this is reflected in the size and scale of this year’s competition in France. Started in 1991 where it was originally known as the Woman’s World Championship. The Winners of the tournament the most are The USA with 3 wins, where the game for women has been established longer, with Germany, Japan and Norway having won the others. There is major sponsorship and coverage with the Trophy being a similar design to the Men’s world cup.
It was a very different story 50 years ago in the 1970’s where Women’s football was officially banned. Hard to believe but several countries lifted the ban on official Women’s leagues and teams in the 70’s and the first international tournament happened in Italy. By the mid 70’s more and more countries were forming leagues and bigger international tournaments, mainly on a invite basis were starting to happen and the regional organsistions of football such as UEFA and CONCAF, plus FIFA itself, were coming under increasing pressure to create a Women’s world cup.
This they did in 1991 and it would be held every four years so as not to clash with the Men’s game. It would involve 12 teams which has now doubled in size. France will host the cup this time with over ten countries already looking to bid for the honour in 2023.