1979 European Competition for Women's Football
|1979 Coppa Europa per Nazioni|
|Dates||19 July - 27 July (8 days)|
|Champions||Denmark (1st title)|
|Goals scored||40 (2.5 per match)|
The 1979 European Competition for Women's Football was a women's football tournament contested by European nations. It took place in Italy from 19 to 27 July 1979.
The tournament featured 12 teams, with games staged in Naples and Rimini. Considered unofficial because it was not run under the auspices of UEFA, it was a precursor to the UEFA Women's Championship. Denmark won the tournament, beating hosts Italy 2–0 in the final at Stadio San Paolo.
Economically, the tournament was not a success:
|“||The 1979 Italian tournament is often cited as being financially disastrous, but it was not so for the participating teams. Rather, the hosts bore the costs, but the financial problems affected the organization of the competition.||”|
In the late 1970s the issue of international tournaments for women's football teams was contentious. The international governing body International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) refused several requests to sanction independently organised tournaments, declaring that such matters "were only possible through the National Association and the Confederations." Writing in 2007, Jean Williams observed that "The fact that they had been busy not organising these events seems to have escaped [FIFA's] notice. According to Williams, FIFA's bureaucratic suppression of women's football was becoming unsustainable: "By the 1970s it simply wasn't a viable option for FIFA to ignore women playing the game and hope that they would go away."
The European Confederation, Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), displayed little enthusiasm for women's football and were particularly hostile to Italy's independent women's football federation. Sue Lopez, a member of England's squad, contended that a lack of female representation in UEFA was a contributory factor:
|“||In 1971, UEFA had set up a committee for women's football, composed exclusively of male representatives, and by the time this committee folded in 1978 they had failed to organise any international competitions.||”|
The top team in each group advanced to the semi-finals.
18 July 1979
|Morace 15', 42'
20 July 1979
22 July 1979
18 July 1979
21 July 1979
|Report||De Bakker 40'
Timmer 60' (pen.)
22 July 1979
|Sintorn 2'||Report||De Bakker 21'|
|25 July – Naples|
|28 July – Naples|
|25 July – Rimini||27 July – Naples|
|Denmark||1||Sweden (pen.)||0 (4)|
25 July 1979
|Vignotto 11', 65'
Third place match
After a goalless first half, Denmark took the lead 10 minutes into the second period through 18–year–old striker Lone Smidt Hansen (who later became Lone Smidt Nielsen through marriage). Inge Hindkjær secured Denmark's victory with her fourth goal of the tournament, four minutes from full-time. After the tournament, the Danish Football Association (DBU) were subject to media criticism for their failure to properly develop women's football.
28 July 1979
|Smidt Nielsen 51'
| European Competition for Women's Football
- Erik Garin's tournament page at Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation says Italy won this match 4–1.
- The Italian Football Federation report says this game took place in Benevento. The Football Association of Norway report says Naples.
- The Swedish Football Association list of matches says this game took place in Naples. Sue Lopez's book Women on the Ball suggests nearby Scafati.
- Williams 2007, p. 31
- Williams 2007, p. 10
- Williams 2007, p. 14
- Lopez 1997, p. 99
- "2013 Uefa Women's Competitions" (PDF). UEFA. August 2013. p. 4. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Williams 2007, p. 30
- Garin, Erik (30 April 2006). "Switzerland - International Matches Women 1970-2003". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "France 1-3 Danemark" (in French). French Football Federation. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Sveriges motståndare 1973-2011" (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Bruun, Peter (2 June 2005). "Progress delights great Dane". UEFA. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "Danmark - Italien 2 - 0". Danish Football Association. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Fan, Hong; Mangan, James Anthony (2003). "Women's Football in Denmark". Soccer, Women, Sexual Liberation: Kicking Off a New Era. Routledge. ISBN 978-0714684086.
- Lopez, Sue (1997). Women on the Ball: A Guide to Women's Football. London, England: Scarlet Press. ISBN 1857270169.
- Williams, Jean (2007). A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football. Berg Publishers. ISBN 978-1845206758.