When Was England In The World Cup Final Development Of Women’s Football In England

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Development Of Women’s Football In England

Women’s football is the fastest growing sport in the world, there are more women playing football than any other female team sport and it is estimated that there are over one million women playing football in England and over 26 million worldwide.

The first recorded women’s football match was in 1895, with the first international match taking place in 1920. A record crowd of 53,000 watched a women’s football match in 1920, but the Football Association banned women from playing in football on League grounds in 1921 Believing the game was inappropriate for women and should not be encouraged.

Amazingly the ban remained until 1971, by which time the Women’s Football Association had been formed. The first WFA Cup Final took place in 1971, which was followed by the first known international match between England and Scotland in 1972.

It was not until the 1990s that the game became more popular and the first English league was established in 1991. The league was taken over by the Football Association in 1994 and became known as the FAWPL (Football Association Women’s Premier League).

The dominant force within the English game are Arsenal Ladies who have won an incredible 33 trophies since their formation in 1987. Honors include 12 Premier League titles, 10 FA Cups and 10 FA Cups. Arsenal have won the league title for the last 7 consecutive years.

The Football Association pledged in 1997 to develop the game for women from the grassroots to the top level, which led to the development of 20 Centers of Excellence for girls within the sport. There are now 50 centers of excellence offering quality training to girls between the ages of 8 and 16.

The greatest emphasis is now also placed on the English national team, which after winning the unofficial World Cup in 1985 and 1988 has struggled to make an impact on world football, having only qualified for two official World Cup finals.

Confidence is high that the now semi-professional Women’s Super League, scheduled to start in 2011, will provide an improved structure and better players for the national team in the future. It is hoped that greater television coverage will also give this already popular sport an extra boost.

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