The government will launch a major review of women’s football at elite and grassroots level with the aim of achieving greater parity with men’s football.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has confirmed that an independent study, recommended in the review of football governance led by MP Tracey Crouch and published last November, will examine the way forward with particular emphasis on marketing, spectator support and media interest.
The results are expected by the end of a year in which England are due to host the Women’s Euro 2022 final.
Now is the time for a thorough review of women’s football to ensure everything is done to support its future growth.
Huddleston said: “Women’s football is a growing force. The 2019 World Cup captured the hearts and minds of the nation, and with increased participation, employment and media visibility, I am confident that Euro 2022 will inspire more women and girls to participate in our national game as we work towards parity in all areas. sport.
“Despite these positive signs for football, it is clear that an assessment of the value of women’s and women’s football is needed, to ensure it is properly funded over the long term.
“Now is the time for a thorough review of women’s football to ensure everything is done to support its future growth.”
The government has also confirmed that the Women’s World Cup and European Women’s Championship finals have been added to Group A of the Listed Events regime. This means that these tournaments, along with the men’s equivalents and events such as the Scottish FA Cup and FA Cup finals, Grand National and Wimbledon, are broadcast on free-to-air television.
BBC coverage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup was watched by a record 28.1 million people across the UK, including 11.7 million for England’s semi-final with the States United only.
The burgeoning Women’s Super League has generated lucrative sponsorship and broadcast deals, while locally football has become the most played sport for women and girls, with England boasting three million registered players and 12,000 teams.
However, fan-led scrutiny of men’s football and the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the lack of resources in women’s football – championship side Coventry United Ladies went into voluntary liquidation in December of the year. year – and the limits that may impose its future growth. .
The review’s announcement comes ahead of a summer of top women’s football in this country, with England and Northern Ireland facing off in Group A as Sarina Wiegman’s side bid for the Premier League title. Euro 2022 at home between July 6 and July 31. .
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