Portal:Women's association football

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Women's association football

Players during the qualifying round of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, October 31, 2013.

Women's association football (women's soccer) is the most prominent team sport played by women around the globe. It is played at the professional level in numerous countries throughout the world and 176 national teams participate internationally.

The history of women's football has seen major competitions being launched at both the national and international levels. Women's football has faced many struggles throughout its history. Although its first golden age occurred in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s, when one match achieved over 50,000 spectators, the Football Association initiated a ban in 1921 that disallowed women's football games from the grounds used by its member clubs. The ban stayed in effect until July 1971. The same year, UEFA recommended that the women's game should be taken under the control of the national associations in each country.

At the beginning of the 21st century, women's football, like men's football, has become professionalised and is growing in both popularity and participation. From the first known professional team in 1984, to the hundreds of thousands of tickets sold for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, support of women's professional football (soccer) has increased around the globe. However, as in other sports, women have struggled for pay and opportunities equal to male football players. Major league and international women's football enjoys far less television and media coverage than the men's equivalent. In spite of this, the popularity and participation in women's football continues to grow.

Selected article

The Saudi Arabia women's national football team would be the national team representing the kingdom in international football. However, the team does not yet exist because of influence of religious leaders in Saudi Arabia and systematic discrimination against women's sport, active opposition of political leaders and sport administrators. International pressure has come to bear on the country to field a women's team, and FIFA now allows the hijab to be worn in competition. A meeting at the College of Business Administration in Jeddah was seen as a possible first step in a team eventually being created.

Despite a lack of official support for a national team and women's football in general, women have self-organised their own teams and play games out of the sight of men. Created in 2006, King's United women football club was the first women's football club in the country. No official data is kept regarding participation rates for women football players.

Selected biography

Rapinoe with Olympique Lyonnais

Megan Rapinoe (/rəˈpn/ (About this sound listen); born July 5, 1985) is an American professional soccer midfielder and Olympic gold medalist who currently plays for Seattle Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League. She is also a member of the United States women's national soccer team. She previously played for the Chicago Red Stars, Philadelphia Independence, and magicJack in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) as well as Olympique Lyonnais in France's Division 1 Féminine.

Rapinoe is internationally known for her crafty style of play and her precise cross to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals against Brazil, which resulted in an equalizer goal and eventual win for the Americans after a penalty kick shootout. During the 2012 London Olympics, she scored three goals and tallied a team-high four assists to lead the United States to a gold medal. She is the first player, male or female, to score a Goal Olimpico at the Olympic Games.

Rapinoe is an advocate for numerous LGBT organizations including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally. In 2013, she was awarded the Board of Directors Award by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. She is sponsored by Nike, Samsung and DJO Global and has appeared in multiple promotional pieces for clothing company, Wildfang, as well as Nike.

Selected league

The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is the top-level professional women's soccer league in the United States. It began play in spring 2013 with eight teams; four of them are former members of Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), which had been the top women's league in the United States soccer pyramid before its demise in 2012.

Selected picture

Marta (10), meio-campista, craque, genial, DSC00982.jpg
Marta Vieira da Silva waves to the crowd after a group stage match at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup between Brazil and Norway, 3 July 2011.

Did you know?

Sydney Leroux in 2012

Rapinoe takes a corner kick in the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics


Selected national team

The Togo women's national football team is a FIFA-recognised team that represents Togo in international football competition. Togo have played five FIFA-recognised matches, all in 2006, and are currently unranked. They have not competed in major regional and international tournaments. While the country has under-17 and under-20 national sides, further development of the team and the sport in Togo faces challenges common to African countries, as well as country-specific problems such as the sport's lack of domestic popularity.

In the news

  • December 17: Wikinews interviews former Matilda's player Sarah Walsh about Australian women's soccer
  • December 7: Wikinews interviews academic Steve Redhead about Australian women's soccer
  • January 7: Abby Wambach wins FIFA World Player of the Year
  • November 19: Canberra United lose first game since January 2011
  • July 27: London Olympics organizers apologize after North Korea flag gaffe


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