August 9, 2023

Women’s World Cup inspiring a new generation of girls into the sport

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England Women 0 New Zealand Women 1, Women's World Cup, 2019

Picture by: James Boyes | Flickr

The Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is on track to receive the highest attendance numbers for the tournament to date, with interest in the women’s game on the rise.

With the 2023 Women’s World Cup well underway, there has been an increase of around 82% attendees, both male and female, watching the games in comparison to the previous World Cup. The last World Cup average was around 21,756 compared to this year’s 39,535.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino took to social media to share his joy about an increase in engagement. In an Instagram post, he said that he was “delighted” with the fact that this year’s Women’s World Cup had sold more than one million tickets and that he looked forward to seeing people “witness the stars of women’s football shine on the world stage.”

The post added: “Australia and New Zealand 2023 is on track to become the most attended FIFA Women’s World Cup in history.”

“The future is women – and thanks to the fans for supporting what will be the greatest FIFA Women’s World Cup ever.”

Supporters across the world have packed out stadiums supporting their countries, with one of the recent games seeing a considerable number of both female and male attendees watch England beat Nigeria following a penalty win in the round of 16.

And this growing support for the women’s tournament is also reflected in online viewership.

In a tweet, 90min football writer and editor Jamie Spencer shared how the England vs Nigeria game drew in a 5.2m peak audience on BBC One on the morning of Monday, August 7, adding: “68% of the TV share, plus 2.6m streams on iPlayer and online.

“Given that it was on a weekday during working hours, there were an additional 2m+ requests for highlights and clips.”

The largest attendance recorded so far has been Australia’s opener where ‘75,784 saw the Matilda’s victory over the Republic of Ireland’ and filled nearly 92% of the stadium’s total capacity.

Women’s football has recently started to get recognition. But this increased popularity has also been met with backlash.

According to research by Durham University, some people believe that ‘women should not participate in sport at all, or if they did, it should be in “feminine” sports, such as athletics.’

But, specific aspects of the game have encountered problems, for instance, the matter of commentary.

In 2018, history was made at the World Cup, as Vicki Sparks became the first woman to commentate over a World Cup game.

Despite this new chapter being unlocked in the game, she swiftly drew criticism from ex-footballer Jason Cundy during an interview with Piers Morgan. Cundy said: “I prefer to hear a male voice when watching football – for 90 minutes of hearing a high pitched tone isn’t really what I would like to hear.”

But, opinion writer Eleanor Margolis holds a different view. She told Harbingers Magazine: “I actually find it refreshing as you never really hear female commentators.”

What makes this year different from the rest is the fact that this World cup will be the first time in both the men’s and women’s game to be hosted by more than one country. It will also be the first time 32 countries will be able to compete at a Women’s World Cup, increasing the amount of games to 64.

 

To learn more about the 2023 Women’s World Cup visit:
https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-about-the-fifa-womens-world-cup-2023

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Isaaq Hussain

Sports Correspondent

United Kingdom

Born in 2007, Isaaq is interested in football and English Literature. He plans to study Physical Education and Sports Journalism.

In his free time, Isaaq enjoys playing sports, reading, and watching TV shows.

Isaaq speaks English and is learning German.

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