Do Any Women Play Pro Football In A Mens Team 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, with more women playing football than any other women’s team sport and it is estimated that over one million women play football in England and over 26 million worldwide.

The first recorded women’s football match was in 1895, the first international match was in 1920. A record crowd of 53,000 watched a women’s football match in 1920, but the Football Association banned women from playing football at league grounds in 1921. Believing that the sport is inappropriate for women and should not be encouraged.

Incredibly the ban lasted until 1971, by which time the Women’s Football Association had been formed. The first WFA Cup final was held in 1971, followed by the first recognized international match between England and Scotland in 1972.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the game became more popular and in 1991 the first English league was formed. The league was taken under the control of the Football Association in 1994 and became known as the FAWPL (Football Association Women’s Premier League).

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

The Football Association made a commitment in 1997 to develop the game for women from the grassroots to the top level, leading to the development of 20 centers of excellence for girls in the sport. There are now 50 centers of excellence providing quality training to girls between the ages of 8 and 16.

There is also an increased emphasis on the English national team, which has only qualified for two official World Cup finals after winning unofficial World Cups in 1985 and 1988, struggling to make an impact on world football.

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

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