Women's football

Is women's football is due to make a big breakthrough on to the UK sport scene? Two writers have conflicting opinions

Yes ~
“Football is all very well as a game for rough girls, but it is hardly suitable for delicate boys.” So said Oscar Wilde. If the women’s game continues to develop at the pace wit­nessed during the past decade, this observation could soon gain common currency.

Will the home triumph at the 1999 women's World Cup be a real breakthrough for football in the USA, or just a one-off? Ethan Zindler weighs up the evidence

With no goals scored, the women’s World Cup final at the Pasadena Rose Bowl had delivered as ignominious a conclusion as the men’s final at the same venue in 1994. Yet none of the ecstatic 90,000 red, white, and blue supporters seemed troubled by the injustices of penalties. The tournament was over. But America’s love affair with its soccer divas was just getting started.

The Lionesses may have been particularly successful recently, but Roy O'Brien asks if the Lions even care

Two perspectives on women’s place in football, both provided by Millwall FC. In May, the Lionesses football team are given a civic reception by Lewisham Council to celebrate their most successful season ever, which included winning the Women’s FA Cup. “They’re helping to raise the profile of the sport and continue to push the standards of women’s football higher and higher,” says local MP, and minister for women, Joan Ruddock. A few days later, the press are invited to see Millwall’s new strip modelled by the club’s “latest international signing”, Anne Marie Foss, L!ve TV’s Norwegian weather girl. Anne Marie reads the weather in Norwegian with a subtitled translation. It’s quite a giggle.

John Williams explains why the women's game in the UK is in need of a major overhaul

According to FIFA, 20 million women play organized football worldwide. In Scandinavia, where views about women as athletes, and almost anything else, are at least post-Jurassic, football is the most popular sport for females. Most local clubs cater for both male and female teams and foreign stars such as the USA’s Michelle Akers are brought over to join the semi-professional ranks. No surprise, then, that Norway won the recent women’s World Cup in Sweden and that they and Denmark are as tough as they come in international competition. England? Well, you reap what you sow; in Sweden we were simply outclassed by, no avoiding it now, the Germans.

Nick Wyke looks at the efforts being made to promote women's football in Italy in the face of media indifference

Italy’s Serie A is, arguably, the most prestigious and rigorous league in world football. As a result, Italian women have a reputation to live up to. Their cause has not been helped by a media that shirks the women’s on-pitch efforts in preference for sideline gossip.

Sarah Gilmore looks at the reasons for the marked increase in the number of women writing and reporting on football in recent times, and the hurdles they still have to overcome

Over the past few years we have seen an explosion of women writing, editing and presenting on football. They seem to have come from nowhere and arrived at the top of their professions, giving their views with authority. 

There are now women working within the game at almost every level apart from team management. Anne Coddington spoke to several who have made football their full-time career

This year’s Carling Report provided the clearest view yet obtained that growing numbers of women are following football. Thirteen percent of supporters are now women and of the fans who started watching football regularly since the change to all-seater stadia five years ago, women represent one in four. 

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