The sport is gaining more and more popularity.
Football may not have come home for the men’s team during this year’s World Cup, but hope is not yet lost.
That’s because it is – quite literally – coming home: England has announced it will be hosting the UEFA Women’s Euro finals in 2012.
The competition will be played at eight venues across the UK, with the final due to be played at Wembley Stadium. Brighton, Brentford, Milton Keynes, Manchester, Nottingham, Rotherham, Sheffield and Southampton will also be home to matches throughout the competition.
“We cannot underestimate the positive impact this tournament will have on inspiring the next generation,” he said. “Young girls and boys will be lifted by the chance to see Europe’s elite on their doorstep and it can only help the collective effort across our leagues and clubs to grow the game even further, especially with our restructured FA Women’s Super League making such a promising start.”
And Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football, said that the move would be crucial for the future development of girls’ and women’s football in the UK.
“Tournaments of the scale and profile of Euro 2021 have the power to inspire a new generation of young girls, and women of all ages, to get involved in the sport – for fitness, competition or just pure enjoyment, as well as the opportunity to grow support for the women’s game at both a club and national level,” she said.
“A home Euros in 2021 has the potential to be a pivotal moment in the development of the women’s game in England.”
Women’s football isn’t always given the same respect as men’s. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Barcelona FC had put their men’s team in business class on a flight to the US; the women’s team was forced to sit, rather predictably, in economy.
The women’s FA Cup final was first aired live by the BBC this year – the men’s, meanwhile, has been airing for nearly 100 years. Top female players also make considerably less than their male counterparts. In the FA Cup, women players earn around £26,752 a year. Male players, on the other hand, make on average £2.64m – a whopping 99% more.
Fingers crossed England’s hosting of the competition will increase interest in the game – and maybe even help close that gap.