Records Smashed by Women's World Cup
I don’t think that anybody can argue that the recently completed Women’s World Cup was anything other than a resounding success. Nearly two million fans attended the matches this time, an increase of almost 600,000 on the previous record with the average attendance reaching over 30,000. The finals in New Zealand and Australia attracted 700,000 of that number with the final featuring Spain and England had a sell-out crowd of over 75,000. Not only was it a success in terms of attendance, the global television audience was massive compared to previous editions of the tournament and the social media interest was off the scale.
This success, in spite of some pre-tournament controversy, can only be a good thing in terms of encouraging young girls to participate in the sport and that indeed seems to be the case with the UK and most other countries that played in the finals reporting a huge uptake in people wanting to get started in the sport.
I have personally never taken much interest in the women’s game, like many others I suspect, but the sheer scale of the event and the media coverage, including a host of live matches, made me sit up and take notice. I must say that I found some aspects of the games refreshing, including players not going to ground as if shot every time someone tackled them, the lack of histrionics and the great atmosphere that the fans created.I also think its a good thing that young girls and women of all ages have the opportunity to attend football matches and enjoy the same sort of experience that boys and men have for generations. Football has been a largely male-dominated sport ever since the first ball was kicked in anger and to see girls from clubs and organizations of all kinds either attend the matches or get together and enjoy the live matches on TV and big screens everywhere was a pleasure that they have long been denied, certainly on this scale.
I cannot see any circumstances where the women’s game will recede now, with thousands of new players coming through and the continued media interest. This world cup was as well covered, certainly in the UK, as any major men’s tournament and in the current climate it can only get bigger. There have been nine previous Women’s World Cups but this is the one that really registered around the world and people are already talking about the next tournament in 2027, which I think will be a massive event on a par with the men’s version. Sell the stadiums out, get the prime-time TV coverage to attract big business and you’ll make it one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.
I know I’m writing about this tournament as if it was the first one ever played, but for me and I suspect many millions of others it was. The current social climate has allowed it to get the sort of coverage it was due and that can only be a good thing. Long may it continue.