It’s an unprecedented year for England women’s football, and our national enthusiasm should show thatby Ruby Lott-Lavigna / May 14, 2019 / Leave a comment
We are now less than a month from the Women’s World Cup, and the anticipation is palpable. Sweepstakes are raging through offices, and your colleagues can’t stop arguing over whether Norway or Brazil will be the surprise winner this year.
Except, that’s not quite what’s happening, is it? While last year’s men’s World Cup caused a collective excitement to sweep through the nation, the attention on the women’s equivalent is barely comparable. When I mention a summer filled with World Cup coverage, most people respond with a confused look—or politely tell me that I am mistaken and that we’ve got another three years left. It’s hardly inspiring.
If you don’t know, now you know: This year, France hosts the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will see 24 of the best teams in the world competing for one of the biggest accolades in women’s sport.
England, after coming a close third in the last competition after an unfortunate 90th-minute own goal against Japan in 2015, are ambitious. With Manchester City’s Steph Houghton as captain, and a comfortable win at the Women’s Super League earlier this year in the US in their back pocket, the team have a good shot at topping their group if not heading to a final. It’s an unprecedented year for England women’s football, and our national enthusiasm should show that.
Love it or hate it, there’s no reason why anyone should be absent from the Women’s World Cup hype this year. If you’re a huge men’s football fan—if you know your Kantés from your Contes, or have ever referred to Liverpool’s intense pressing game as “heavy metal football”—then you’re going to love this upcoming summer.
Many of the same traits you know and love are there: the balls go in the goals; the referees prance around the pitch. The only real difference—bar, obviously, the extensive history of women being banned from playing on club grounds for 50 years—is that England Women start this competition with a genuine shot at winning.
Luckily, the tide is changing. In March, the Telegraph announced its women’s sport initiative, which seeks to offer “unprecedented coverage” in the…