Women: World Cup champions and rankings
According to FIFA there are 29 million women and girls playing football worldwide.
Women’s football is rapidly growing around the world, but whilst the numbers are important, it is also interesting to look beyond these statistics to the reasons why Women’s football is expanding so rapidly. Similarly, the consequences of a growing game raise important questions concerning the governance of the game and whether women are adequately represented in leadership positions across the sport. Let’s begin by looking at the growth of women’s football in Europe specifically, before discussing the Women’s World Cup.
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, data provided by UEFA noted the following for the 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 spent on women’s football by national associations in 2012/13
Participation in women’s football 2014 World Survey
The CIES 2014 Women’s Football Survey reported:
4,801,360 registered players world wide.
27,126 being the average number of registered female players per member association.
As of January 2016, only two of the 209 Presidents of the Member Associations of FIFA are women but the new incoming President has made changes.
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 the 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.
In October 2017, the USA led the world rankings in women’s football with Germany in second. England, Australia and Netherlands have all progressed up and France, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Sweden have all fallen slightly. In June 2014 the PRC achieved their best ranking since 2011. They are ranked 13th at October 2017.
The USA went back to the top of the FIFA rankings after winning the 2015 FIFA World Cup, beating Japan in the final.
We do not claim to have the most up to date figures here but [ please tell us more from what you have found out from more recent surveys of women’s football. Remember the key thing is to be able to use data to explain trends.
You can see the most up-to-date rankings by clicking on the link below.
We now progress to the video by Dr Grey, before discussing ways to challenge gender stereotypes.