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The Women’s 2019 World Cup kicks off in June with 24 of the best teams vying for the tournament’s trophy. Women’s football is continuing to grow in popularity as more fans discover the ladies’ game. Football fans can show their support by following their favourite team, you can visit this website to wager on the team of your choice leading up the tournament this summer.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Things are changing in women’s football as fans are watching more games so it’s no surprise that women’s sport is on the rise, some might say women can play just as well as the lads.

From thriving to being banned

In 1920, the women’s game had an estimated 150 female teams playing in England. The game was thriving drawing large crowds from around the country.

In 1894 Preston’s Dick Kerr formed a team called Preston’s Dick Kerr’s Ladies. The team drew a terrific 53,000 fans to watch a match Preston’s Dick Kerr’s Ladies versus St. Helen’s Ladies on Boxing Day 1920. Thousands more tuned up at Goodison Park to watch the match but they were turned away.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Despite the excitement around the women’s game in England, the Football Association took the backwards step of banning women’s football in December 1921. The FA stated women’s football was “unstainable” and grounds around England were not allowed to promote games featuring lady players.

Half century of dormant Women’s football

Women’s football laid dormant for almost a half century in England due to the FA’s ban. Finally, in 1971, the FA ended the ruling and formed the Women’s Football Association. While women were now able to play football with the full backing of the FA, it still wasn’t easy for fans to watch it. In addition, it wasn’t easy for female footballers to establish long-term careers and make a living.

In early 1990, more opportunities for women's football in England and around the globe. In 1991, the inaugural Women’s World Cup kicked off in China with the United States defeating Norway in the tournament final, 2-1.

The 2019 tournament will be the eighth edition of the Women’s World Cup as 24 nations descend on France for the event. The US heads to the tournament as the reigning champions having defeated Japan in 2015.

Women’s football on the rise

Women’s football is on the rise due to a number of countries establishing professional leagues. In 2014, it was reported that 2.6 million women and girls participated in football. We are now seeing an increased female participation in several other sports.

Isle of Wight County Press:

It isn’t just national team football that is driving the rise in popularity of women’s football. Since 2011, the Women’s Super League in England has competed with top clubs such as Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City. The WSL is now a fully professional women’s league and offers girls an endpoint for their football dreams.

2019 Women’s World Cup will continue the rise in popularity of women’s football, with England ranked as the world’s No. 3 team.