Women: World Cup champions and rankings

According to FIFA there are 29 million women and girls playing football world-wide.

What do I need to do?

  • Read the information below.

  • There are a number of further resources available at the end of this article that may be of interest to those looking for further depth on the topic of women and football.

  • Consider the changes, trends and progress in women’s football.

Participation in women’s football in Europe

In Europe alone, UEFA noted the following for season 2013-14:

1, 162,314 registered female players

48 national women’s football leagues

719,098 registered female youth players

25,313 women’s senior teams

21,285 female youth teams

69,533 clubs with women’s teams

11 national associations with national academies for girls

7,505 female referees

39 national associations with women’s football committees

369 national association coaches working in women’s football

464 female members of national association committees in Europe

80,679,700 euros spent on women’s football by national associations in 2012/13

Growth of women’s football in Europe

With just 40 registered players in 2008, it is easier for Andorra to record a large percentage increase than it is for Norway, which had 107,500 registered players in 2008. In percentage terms, Romania (511%) and Kazakhstan (446%) have seen the largest increases over the last five years, while in absolute terms, Turkey (46,353) and the Netherlands (11,734) lead the way.

As the number of registered players increases, so do the resources dedicated to women’s football. The total amount of money invested in the sport is almost three times higher than it was in 2012/13 season. Indeed, all of the figures for women’s football are higher for the 2013/14 season than they were for the 2012/13 season, which supports the notion that there has been progress within women’s football in Europe. It should be noted that one additional national association (Gibraltar) has joined UEFA, which may affect these figures to a certain extent.

In the UK, England has played a major role with its new ‘Game Changer’ strategy, which seeks to increase investment and attract more funding for women’s football.

Women’s World Cup

The first FIFA Women’s World Championship was held in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1991, fulfilling a pledge made by then FIFA President João Havelange at the 1986 FIFA Congress in Mexico City. The US women took the new trophy and set new standards for their female colleagues around the world. The next iterations of the FIFA flagship competition for women were held in Sweden (1995), the USA (1999 and 2003), PRC (2007), Germany (2011) and Canada (2015).

In 2015, the women’s tournament was hosted from 6 June to 5 July by Canada, who won the right to host the event in March 2011. The 2015 event was the seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup, as the women’s football world championship tournament is a quadrennial international event. However, the event has not been without its controversies, most notably in the lead up to the tournament when a number of players filed a lawsuit against FIFA’s ruling that the tournament would be played on artificial turf, and not the traditional grass that the men’s tournament is played on.

World rankings

The USA went back to the top of the FIFA rankings after winning the 2015 FIFA World Cup.

As of 21 June 2015, Germany lead the world rankings in women’s football with USA in second. Brazil, Canada and Norway have all progressed up and Korea (DPR), China and the Netherlands have all fallen slightly. In June 2014 the PRC achieved their best ranking since 2011. You can see the most up to date rankings by clicking on the link below.

FIFA Women’s World Rankings

What’s next?

We now progress on to listen to the video by Dr Grey, before reading about enabling women’s football and challenging gender stereotypes.

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This article is from the free online course:

Football: More than a Game

The University of Edinburgh