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Women's association football, simply women's football, is the
team sport A team sport includes any sport where individuals are organized into opposing sports team, teams which compete to win. Team members act together towards a shared objective. This can be done in a number of ways such as outscoring the opposing ...
of
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain ...
when played by
women A woman is an adult female Female (symbol: ♀) is the sex of an organism that produces the large non-mobile ovum, ova (egg cells), the type of gamete (sex cell) that fuses with the Sperm, male gamete during sexual reproduction. A female ...

women
only. It is played at the professional level in multiple countries throughout the world and 176 national teams participate internationally. The history of women's football has seen competitions being launched at both the
national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...
and
international International is an adjective (also used as a noun) meaning "between nations". International may also refer to: Music Albums * ''International'' (Kevin Michael album), 2011 * ''International'' (New Order album), 2002 * ''International'' (The Th ...
levels. Although the "first golden age" of women's football occurred in the United Kingdom in the 1920s, with one match attracting over 50,000 spectators,
The Football Association The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
initiated a ban in 1921 in England that disallowed women's football games from taking place on the grounds used by its member clubs. That ban remained in effect until July 1971. The inaugural
FIFA Women's World Cup The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a played with a between two teams of 11 . It is played by approximately 250 million ...

FIFA Women's World Cup
was held in China in 1991. Since then, the sport has gained in popularity. The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final in Canada was the most watched football game in United States history and over 1.12 billion people worldwide watched the
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup was the eighth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a te ...
in France.


History

Women may have been playing
football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called ''football'' include (known as ''soccer'' ...

football
for as long as the game has existed. Evidence shows that a similar game (
cuju ''Cuju'' or ''Ts'u-chü'' is an ancient Chinese ball game Ball games (or ballgames), also ball sports, are any form of game or sport which feature a ball as part of play. These include games such as association football, football, cricket, baseb ...
) was played by women during the
Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han Dynasty
(25–220 CE). Two female figures are depicted in Han Dynasty frescoes, playing Tsu Chu. There are, however, a number of opinions about the accuracy of dates, the earliest estimates at 5000 BCE. Reports of an annual match being played in
Midlothian Midlothian (; gd, Meadhan Lodainn) is a historic county, registration county A registration county was, in Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an ar ...

Midlothian
, Scotland are reported as early as the 1790s."Football history: Winning ways of wedded women"
In 1863, football governing bodies introduced standardized rules to prohibit violence on the pitch, making it more socially acceptable for women to play. The first match of an international character took place in 1881 at
Hibernian Park Hibernian Park was the home ground of the Scottish association football, football club Hibernian F.C., Hibernian from 1880 until the club's dissolution in 1891. When the club was reformed in 1892, the club took out on a lease on a site which becam ...
in
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
, and an official match according to the
Scottish Football Association The Scottish Football Association (also known as the SFA and the Scottish FA; sco, Scots Fitba Association; Scottish Gaelic: ''Comann Ball-coise na h-Alba'') is the Sport governing body, governing body of association football, football in Scot ...
's records was in 1892. In England, the first recorded game of football between women took place in 1895.The FA – "Women's Football- A Brief History"
/ref> A documented European team was founded by activist
Nettie Honeyball Nettie Honeyball, also referred to as Nettie J. Honeyball, was the founder of the British Ladies' Football Club, the first known women's association football Women's association football, usually known as women's football or women's soccer, and ...

Nettie Honeyball
in England in 1894. It was named the
British Ladies' Football Club The British Ladies' Football Club was a women's association football team formed in Great Britain in 1895. The team, regarded as the first women's football team, had as its patron Lady Florence Dixie, an aristocrat from Dumfries, and its first capta ...
. Honeyball and those like her paved the way for women's football. However the women's game was frowned upon by the British football associations, and continued without their support. It has been suggested that this was motivated by a perceived threat to the 'masculinity' of the game. At the time of the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...

First World War
, employment in heavy industry spurred the growth of the game, like it had done for men fifty years earlier. A team from England played a team from Ireland on
Boxing Day Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among ...
1917 in front of a crowd of 20,000 spectators. The Irish side of this was dramatised in the play ''Rough Girls'' in 2021. A team of the era was
Dick, Kerr's Ladies Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C. was one of the earliest known women's association football teams in England. The team remained in existence for over 48 years, from 1917 to 1965, playing 833 games, winning 759, drawing 46, and losing 28. During its early yea ...
of Preston, England. The team played in the first women's international matches in 1920, against a team from Paris, France, in April, and also made up most of the England team against a Scottish Ladies XI in 1920, winning 22–0.


FA ban (1921–1971)

Despite being more popular than some men's football events (one match saw a 53,000 strong crowd), women's football in England was halted in 1921 when
The Football Association The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law ...
outlawed the playing of the game on Association members' pitches, on the grounds stating that "the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged." Some speculated that this may have also been due to envy of the large crowds that women's matches attracted. Despite the ban, some women's teams continued to play. The
English Ladies Football Association The English Ladies' Football Association (ELFA) was formed in 1921 and active until 1922. It was arguably a direct response to the Football Association (FA)’s ban on women's football Football is a family of team sport A team is a Stok ...
was formed and play moved to
rugby Rugby may refer to: Sports Rugby codes * Rugby football in various forms: ** Rugby league: 13 players per side *** Masters Rugby League *** Mod league *** Rugby league nines *** Rugby league sevens *** Touch (sport) *** Wheelchair rugby league ** ...
grounds. The ban was maintained by the FA for fifty years until 1971. The same year, UEFA recommended that the national associations in each country should manage the women's game. In 2002,
Lily Parr Lilian Parr (26 April 1905 – 24 May 1978) was an English professional women's association football player who played as a winger (association football), winger. She is best known for playing for the Dick, Kerr's Ladies team, which was founded ...
of Dick Kerr's Ladies was the first woman to be inducted into the
National Football Museum The National Football Museum is England's national museum of Football in England, football. It is based in the Urbis building in Manchester city centre, and preserves, conserves and displays important collections of association football, football ...
Hall of Fame. She was later honoured with a statue in front of the museum. It was not until 2008 (87 years later), that the FA issued an apology for banning women from the game of football.


Tournaments

;The Munitionettes' Cup In August 1917, a tournament was launched for female munition workers' teams in northeast England. Officially titled the "Tyne Wear & Tees Alfred Wood Munition Girls Cup", it was also known as "The Munitionettes' Cup". The first winners of the trophy were
Blyth Spartans Blyth Spartans Association Football Club is a football Football is a family of team sport A team is a roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor ...
who defeated Bolckow Vaughan 5–0 in a replayed final tie at Middlesbrough on 18 May 1918 in front of a crowd of 22,000. The tournament ran for a second year in season 1918–19, the winners being the ladies of Palmer's shipyard in Jarrow, who defeated Christopher Brown's of
Hartlepool Hartlepool () is a large port town in County Durham, North East England. It is the largest settlement and administrative centre of the Borough of Hartlepool. The town is located south-east of Newcastle upon Tyne, south-east of Durham, Engla ...

Hartlepool
1–0 at
St James' Park St James' Park is a Association football, football stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the home of Premier League club Newcastle United F.C. With a seating capacity of 52,305 seats, it is the List of football stadiums in England, ei ...
in
NewcastleNewcastle usually refers to either: *Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne (, ), often simply Newcastle, is the most populous City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in North East England. It forms the Tyneside conurbati ...

Newcastle
on 22 March 1919. ;The English Ladies' Football Association Challenge Cup Following the FA ban on women's teams on 5 December 1921, the English Ladies' Football Association was formed. A silver cup was donated by the first president of the association, Len Bridgett. A total of 24 teams entered the first competition in the spring of 1922. The winners were Stoke Ladies who beat Doncaster and Bentley Ladies 3–1 on 24 June 1922. ;The Championship of Great Britain and the World In 1937 and 1938, the Dick, Kerr's Ladies F.C. (who had lost to Scotland's Rutherglen Ladies in 1923 but continued to be proclaimed as "world champions")New exhibition to pay tribute to Rutherglen's trailblazing female footballers
Jonathan Geddes, Daily Record, 5 December 2021
played the Edinburgh City Girls in the 'Championship of Great Britain and the World'. Dick, Kerr won both competitions with 5–1 scorelines. The 1939 competition was a more organised affair and the Edinburgh City Girls beat Dick, Kerr 5–2 in
Edinburgh Edinburgh (; sco, Edinburgh; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 Council areas of Scotland, council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is ...

Edinburgh
, following this up with a 7–1 demolition of Glasgow Ladies in
Falkirk Falkirk ( gd, An Eaglais Bhreac, sco, Fawkirk) is a large town in the Central Lowlands The Central Lowlands, sometimes called the Midland Valley or Central Valley, is a geologically defined area of relatively low-lying land in southern S ...

Falkirk
to take the title.


The 'revival' of the women's game

The English ''Women's FA'' was formed in 1969 (as a result of the increased interest generated by the
1966 World Cup The 1966 FIFA World Cup was the eighth FIFA World Cup The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a p ...
),University of Leicester fact sheet on women's football
and the FA's ban on matches being played on members' grounds was finally lifted in 1971. In the same year,
UEFA The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA ; french: Union des associations européennes de football; german: Union der europäischen Fußballverbände) is the administrative body for football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, as wel ...

UEFA
recommended that the women's game should be taken under the control of the national associations in each country.


Ladies World Championships, 1970 and 1971

In 1970 an Italian ladies football federation, known as ''Federazione Femminile Italiana Giuoco Calcio'' or ''FFIGC'', ran a "World Championships" tournament in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
supported by the
Martini Martini may refer to: * Martini (cocktail) The martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth, and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Over the years, the martini has become one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages. H. L. Men ...
and Rossi strong wine manufacturers, entirely without the involvement of
FIFA FIFA ( french: Fédération Internationale de Football Association; en, International Federation of Association Football, link=yes; : ''Federación Internacional de Fútbol Asociación''; : ''Internationaler Verband des Association-Fußball'' ...
or any of some National associations. This event was at least partly played by clubs. A World Championships with national teams was hosted by Mexico the following year. The final (won by Denmark) was played at
Estadio Azteca Estadio Azteca () is a multi-purpose stadium located in Mexico City Mexico City ( es, link=no, Ciudad de México, ; abbreviated as CDMX; nah, Āltepētl Mēxihco) is the capital city, capital and largest city of Mexico, as well as the List of ...

Estadio Azteca
, the largest arena in the entire Americas north of the Panama Canal at the time, in front of no less than 112.500 attenders. On 17 April 1971, in the French town of
Hazebrouck Hazebrouck (, nl, Hazebroek, , vls, Oazebroeke) is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and c ...
, the first official women's international football match was played between France and the Netherlands.


Professionalism

During the 1970s, Italy became the first country to introduce professional women's football players, on a part-time basis. Italy was also the first country to import foreign footballers from other Europeans countries, which raised the profile of the league. Players during that era included Susanne Augustesen (Denmark), Rose Reilly and Edna Neillis (Scotland), Anne O'Brien (Ireland) and Concepcion Sánchez Freire (Spain).


Asia and Oceania

In 1989, Japan became the first country to have a semi-professional women's football league, the L. League – still in existence today as Division 1 of the
Nadeshiko League The , commonly known as the , is a Women's association football, women's association football Sports league, league in Japan. The Nadeshiko League consists of three divisions that correspond to the top three levels of the Japanese association foot ...
. In Australia, the
W-LeagueW-League or W League may refer to: * W-League (Australia), the top Australian women’s association football league * USL W-League, a former North American women’s soccer (association football) league * USL W League, an upcoming American women’ ...
was formed in 2008. In 2015, the
Chinese Women's Super League The Chinese Women's Super League (CWSL) is the top level women's football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defin ...
(CWSL) was launched with an affiliated second division, CWFL. Previously, The Chinese Women's Premier Football League was initiated in 1997 and evolved to the Women's Super League in 2004. From 2011 to 2014, the league was named the Women's National Football League. The Indian Women's League was launched in 2016. The country has held the top-tier tournament, Indian Women's Football Championship, since 1991.


North America

In 1985, the 1985 United States women's national soccer team, United States national soccer team was formed. Following the
1999 FIFA Women's World Cup The 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup was the third edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the world championship for List of women's national association football teams, women's national association football teams. It was hosted as well as won by t ...

1999 FIFA Women's World Cup
, the first professional women's soccer league in the United States, the
WUSAWUSA may refer to: * Women's United Soccer Association (defunct), the world's first women's professional association football league, based in the United States * WUSA (film), ''WUSA'' (film), a 1970 drama film * WUSA (TV), a television station (cha ...
, was launched and lasted three years. The league was spearheaded by members of the World Cup-winning American team and featured players like
Mia Hamm Mariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra (born March 17, 1972) is an American retired professional Association football, soccer player, two-time Women's Football at the Summer Olympics, Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champi ...
,
Julie Foudy Julie Maurine Foudy (born January 23, 1971) is an American retired Association football, soccer midfielder, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist. She played for the United States women's national soccer team from 198 ...
,
Brandi Chastain Brandi Denise Chastain (born July 21, 1968) is an American retired soccer Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a sphere, spherical Ball (association football), ball between two ...

Brandi Chastain
as well as top-tier international players like Germany's
Birgit Prinz Birgit Prinz (born 25 October 1977) is a German retired footballer, two-time FIFA Women's World Cup The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international football competition contested by the senior women's national teams of the members of Fédér ...

Birgit Prinz
and China's
Sun Wen Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925)Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition . was a Chinese statesman, physician, and political phil ...
. A second attempt towards a sustainable professional league, the
Women's Professional Soccer Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) was the top-level professional women's soccer Women's association football, usually known as women's football or women's soccer, and colloquially WOSO, is the team sport of association football when played by w ...
(WPS), was launched in 2009 and folded in late 2011. The following year, the
National Women's Soccer League The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional Women's association football, women's soccer league at the top of the United States soccer league system, United States league system. It is owned by the teams and, until 2020, was und ...
(NWSL) was launched with initial support from the United States, Canadian, and Mexico federations. In 2017,
Liga MX Femenil The Liga BBVA MX Femenil is the highest division of women's football in Mexico. Supervised by the Mexican Football Federation The Mexican Football Federation (Femexfut or FMF, ) is the governing body of association football Association ...

Liga MX Femenil
was launched in Mexico and broke several attendance records. The league is composed of women's teams for the men's counterpart teams in
Liga MX The Primera División de México (also known as the Liga MX and officially known as Liga BBVA MX for sponsorship reasons with BBVA Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (), better known by its initialism BBVA, is a Spanish multinational finan ...

Liga MX
.


21st century

A report says that at the beginning of the 21st century, women's football like men's football is growing in both popularity and participation as well as more professional leagues worldwide. From the inaugural
FIFA Women's World Cup The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a played with a between two teams of 11 . It is played by approximately 250 million ...

FIFA Women's World Cup
tournament held in 1991 to the 1,194,221 tickets sold for the visibility and support of women's professional football has increased around the globe. However, as in some other sports, women's pay and opportunities are lower in comparison with professional male football players. "Major league and international women's football have far less television and media coverage than the men's equivalent." Games can be regarded as being an ordeal to be "endured rather than enjoyed... more out of duty than expectation". The popularity and participation in women's football continues to grow. While a number of features continue to improve, this is not the case for female coaches. They continue to be underrepresented in a number of European women's leagues.


International tournaments


Women's World Cup

Prior to the 1991 establishment of the
FIFA Women's World Cup The FIFA Women's World Cup is an international association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a played with a between two teams of 11 . It is played by approximately 250 million ...

FIFA Women's World Cup
, some unofficial world tournaments took place in the 1970s and 1980s, including the FIFA's Women's Invitation Tournament 1988 which was hosted in China. The first was held in the People's Republic of China, in November 1991, and was won by the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
(USWNT). The third Cup, held in the United States in June and July 1999, drew worldwide television interest and a final in front of a record-setting 90,000+
Pasadena Pasadena ( ; ) is a city in Los Angeles County, California, northeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is the most populous city and the primary cultural center of the San Gabriel Valley.
crowd, where the United States won 5–4 on penalty kicks against
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...
. The US are the reigning champions as of 2021, having won in Canada in
2015 2015 was designated as: * International Year of Light The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 or International Year of Light 2015 (IYL 2015) was a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovern ...
and in France in
2019 2019 was designated as International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six pr ...
.


Olympics

Since 1996, a Women's Football Tournament has been staged at the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
. Unlike in the men's Olympic Football tournament (based on teams of mostly under-23 players), the Olympic women's teams do not have restrictions due to professionalism or age. England and other British Home Nations are not eligible to compete as separate entities because the
International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens Bottens is a municipalities of Switzerland, m ...
does not recognise their FIFA status as separate teams in competitions. The participation of UK men's and women's sides at the 2012 Olympic tournament was a bone of contention between the four national associations in the UK from 2005, when the Games were awarded to London, to 2009.
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
was "strongly" in favour of unified UK teams, while
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...
, and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
were opposed, fearing adverse consequences for the independent status of the Home Nations within FIFA. At one stage it was reported that England alone would field teams under the UK banner (officially "Great Britain") for the 2012 Games. However, both the men's and women's Great Britain teams eventually fielded some players from the other home nations. (See
Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's tournament Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal. As defined by Professor Leigh Thompson (academic), Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg Sch ...
)


UEFA Women's Championship

The
UEFA Women's Championship The UEFA European Women's Championship, also called the UEFA Women's Euro, held every four years, is the main competition in women's association football between national teams of the UEFA confederation. The competition is the women's equivalent ...
(or Women's Euro) was initially launched in 1982 under the name European Competition For Representative Women's Teams and recognized by
UEFA The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA ; french: Union des associations européennes de football; german: Union der europäischen Fußballverbände) is the administrative body for football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, as wel ...

UEFA
as an official tournament. Previously, European women's tournaments featuring national teams were held in Italy in 1969 and
1979 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ...
, and were not recognized as "official" due to the FA Ban. The 1984 Finals was won by
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...
.
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...
won the 1987 Finals. Since then, as of 2017, the
UEFA Women's Championship The UEFA European Women's Championship, also called the UEFA Women's Euro, held every four years, is the main competition in women's association football between national teams of the UEFA confederation. The competition is the women's equivalent ...
titles has been dominated by
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
which has won at least eight of the events. The only other teams to win, as of 2017, are Norway which won in
1993 1993 was designated as: * International Year for the World's Indigenous People The year 1993 in the Kwajalein Atoll Kwajalein Atoll (; Marshallese: ) is part of the Republic of the Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officiall ...
, and the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...
which won at home in
2017 2017 was designated as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development2017 was declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2015 relating to sustainab ...
.


Copa Libertadores Femenina

Copa Libertadores Femenina The CONMEBOL Libertadores Femenina, named as Copa Libertadores Femenina ( pt, Copa Libertadores Feminina or Taça Libertadores Feminina) is an annual international women's association football Women's association football, usually known as women' ...

Copa Libertadores Femenina
(Women's Liberators Cup) formally known as CONMEBOL Libertadores Femenina is the international women's football club competition for teams that play in
CONMEBOL The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL, , or CSF; es, Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol; pt, Confederação Sul-Americana de Futebol) is the continental sport governing body, governing body of association football, football i ...

CONMEBOL
nations. The competition started in the 2009 season in response to the increased interest in women's football. It is the only CONMEBOL club competition for women.


Domestic competitions


England


Football Association Women's Challenge Cup (FA Women's Cup)

After the lifting of
The FA The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the Sports governing body, governing body of association football in England and the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is t ...
ban, the now defunct
Women's Football Association The Women's Football Association (WFA) was the governing body of women's association football, women's football in England. It was formed in 1969 and was disbanded in 1993, as responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the game of women's foot ...
held its first national knockout cup in 1970–71. It was called the
Mitre The Mitre Corporation (stylized as The MITRE Corporation and MITRE) is an American not-for-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity ...
Trophy which became the
FA Women's Cup The Women's FA Challenge Cup Competition is the top annual cup tournament for women's clubs The woman's club movement was a social movement that took place throughout the United States that established the idea that women had a moral duty a ...
in 1993. Southampton WFC was the inaugural winner. From 1983 to 1994
Doncaster Belles Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies Football Club, previously Doncaster Belles, is an England, English women's association football, women's football club that plays in the , the fourth tier of women's football in England. The club's administration i ...
reached ten out of 11 finals, winning six of them. As of 2014,
Chelsea Chelsea or Chelsey may refer to: Places Australia * Chelsea, Victoria Canada * Chelsea, Nova Scotia * Chelsea, Quebec United Kingdom * Chelsea, London, an affluent area of South West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames ** Chelsea ...
are the holders and
Arsenal An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the ...
are the club with a record 14 wins. Despite tournament sponsorship by some companies, entering the cup actually costs clubs more than they get in prize money. In 2015 it was reported that even if
Notts County Notts County Football Club is a professional association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Sport pertains to any form of Competi ...
had won the tournament outright the £8,600 winnings would leave them out of pocket. The winners of the men's
FA Cup The Football Association Challenge Cup, more commonly known as the FA Cup, is an annual knockout A knockout (abbreviated to KO or K.O.) is a fight-ending, winning criterion in several full-contact Contact sports are sports that emphasize ...

FA Cup
in the same year received £1.8 million, with teams not reaching the first round proper getting more than the women's winners.


Youth tournaments

In 2002, FIFA inaugurated a women's youth championship, officially called the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship. The first event was hosted by Canada. The final was an all-
CONCACAF The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (, , ), abbreviated as CONCACAF ( ; typeset for branding purposes since 2018 as Concacaf) is one of FIFA's six continental governing bodies for association football. ...

CONCACAF
affair, with the
USA The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and a ...
defeating the host Canadians 1–0 with an extra-time golden goal. The second event was held in Thailand in 2004 and won by Germany women's national under-20 football team, Germany. The age limit was raised to 20, starting with the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship, 2006 event held in Russia. Demonstrating the increasing global reach of the women's game, the winners of this event were North Korea women's national under-20 football team, North Korea. The tournament was renamed the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, effective with the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, 2008 edition won by the US in Chile. Japan women's national under-20 football team, Japan won the tournament in France in 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, 2018. In 2008, FIFA instituted an FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, under-17 world championship. 2008 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, The inaugural event, held in New Zealand, was won by North Korea women's national under-17 football team, North Korea. Spain women's national under-17 football team, Spain won this tournament in Uruguay in 2018 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, 2018.


Intercollegiate


United States

In the United States, the intercollegiate sport began from physical education programs that helped establish organized teams. After sixty years of trying to gain social acceptance women's football was introduced to the college level. In the 1970s, women's club teams started to appear on college campus, and it wasn't until the 1980s that they started to gain recognition and gained a varsity status. Brown University was the first college to grant full varsity level status to their women's soccer team. The Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) sponsored the first regional women's soccer tournament at college in the US, which was held at Brown University. The first national level tournament was held at Colorado College, which gained official AIAW sponsorship in 1981. The 1990s saw greater participation mainly due to the Title IX of 23 June 1972, which increased school's budgets and their addition of women's scholarships.
"Currently there are over 700 intercollegiate women's soccer teams playing for many types and sizes of colleges and universities. This includes colleges and universities that are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)."


Controversies


Sexist comments and decision-making

A number of footballers around the globe wear a Kit (association football), kit made up of a jersey, shorts, cleats (boots) and knee-length socks worn over shin guards. In 2004, FIFA President Sepp Blatter suggested that women footballers should "wear tighter shorts and low cut shirts... to create a more female aesthetic" and attract more male fans. His comment was criticized as Sexism, sexist by people involved with women's football and media outlets worldwide. In September 2008, FC de Rakt women's team (FC de Rakt DA1) in the Netherlands made international headlines by swapping its old kit (association football), kit for a new one featuring "short" skirts and "tight-fitting" shirts. This innovation, which had been requested by the team itself, was initially vetoed by the Royal Dutch Football Association on the grounds that according to the rules of the game shorts must be worn by all players, both male and female; but this decision was reversed when it was revealed that the FC de Rakt team were wearing "hot" pants under their skirts, and were therefore technically in compliance. Denying that the kit change was merely a publicity stunt, club chairman Jan van den Elzen told Reuters: 21-year-old team captain Rinske Temming said: Also in June 2011, Russian UEFA Women's Champions League contenders WFC Rossiyanka announced a plan to play in bikinis in a bid to boost attendances.


Wearing of hijabs

In June 2011, Iran women's national football team, Iran forfeited an Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's Asian Qualifiers, Olympic qualification match in Jordan women's national football team, Jordan, after trying to take to the field in hijabs and full body suits.
FIFA FIFA ( french: Fédération Internationale de Football Association; en, International Federation of Association Football, link=yes; : ''Federación Internacional de Fútbol Asociación''; : ''Internationaler Verband des Association-Fußball'' ...
awarded a default 3–0 win to Jordan, explaining that the Iranian kits were "an infringement of the Laws of the Game". The decision provoked criticism from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while Iranian officials alleged that the actions of the Bahraini match delegate had been politically motivated. In July 2012, FIFA approved the wearing of hijab in future matches.


See also

* Geography of women's association football * International competitions in women's football * List of women's association football clubs * Women's sports * Title IX * ''Gracie (film), Gracie'' * ''Bend It Like Beckham'' *''She's the Man'' * ''Alex & Me'' * ''Mustangs FC''


References


Further reading

* * *


External links


FIFA: Women's Football



Women's Soccer United: Home of Worldwide Women's Football

femaleSOCCER.net: Women's football community portal
{{DEFAULTSORT:Women's Association Football Women's association football,