An increasing number of female professional players, the significant growth of official women’s football events, sold out stadiums — it’s safe to claim that women’s football is on the rise. In honor of the great progress registered by the sport, let’s dig deep into the history of female football to find out out some of the most incredible facts!
1. Women have played football from the very beginning
Football is often labelled as a “men’s sport”. History disagrees. According to the experts, the beautiful game has been actively enjoyed by women ever since its humbling beginnings. It happened around the year 206 BC, when women began to play the early Chinese version of football called “juju”, during the Han dynasty.
2. The football skills of a women were a selection criteria for marriage in the 18th century
You probably heard the quote “If a girl plays football, marry her.” Well, in the Scottish Highlands of the 18th century this was way more than an expression. In fact, it is said single men would watch football matches played between married and single women. The skills shown on the pitch were then considered a factor in the selection of prospective brides.
3. Women’s football was banned by the FA for 50 years
Female football had first gained widespread popularity during World War I, when female factory workers played charity football matches in the absence of men. It was only shortly after a match between English women football clubs attracted a record crowd of over 53.000 spectators in Liverpool in 1920 that the Football Association banned female football from their grounds. According to the institution, football was “unsuitable” for women and therefore shouldn’t be encouraged. The ban was not lifted until 1971, 50 years after it was conceived.
4. Doctors used to claim football is dangerous for women’s procreative capacities.
With the article 54 of the decree of April 14, 1941, the Brazilian National Sports Council stated: “women will not be allowed to practice sports incompatible with the conditions of their nature, and for this reason, the National Sports Council should issue the necessary instructions to sports entities in the country.” The medical reports that supported the decision of the council claimed women’s procreative capacities were placed at risk by football. Although many players continued to challenge the law with their passion, from 1941 to 1979 women’s football was pretty much illegal in the country.
5. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 1999 marked a milestone for women’s soccer history
The third edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 1999 that took place in the United States was extremely meaningful for the development of women’s soccer. All 32 games were broadcasted worldwide and all the referees were women for the first time in history.
6. Football is the most popular team sports for women
Hardly surprising: female football is one of the world’s fastest growing sports. Since 1985 the number of female football players in Europe has grown 5 times to reach 1,2 million in 2015. Worldwide there are about 30 million women footballers, making football the most popular team sports for women around the globe!
mycujoo.tv strives to empower women’s football, by broadcasting matches of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, and by being the official stream platform of the 3F Liga: the top level league competition for women’s football clubs in Danish football.