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

Little playing for Scotland in May 2009

Kim Little (born 29 June 1990) is a Scottish footballer and a leading scorer on the Scotland women's national football team. She is currently signed to Seattle Reign FC in the National Women's Soccer League and previously played for FA WSL club Arsenal Ladies. During her time with Arsenal, the team won five league titles, two WSL Continental Cups, three FA Cups and one Premier League Cup. Prior to her six years with Arsenal, Little played for Hibernian L.F.C. in the Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL). During her 18 months with the club, they won the SWPL championship title, Scottish Cup, and the Premier League Cup.

Little has represented Scotland at the senior international level since 2007. She was one of two Scots selected for the Great Britain squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 London Olympics. In 2010, she was named the FA's Women's Player of the Year. In 2013, she became the first recipient of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Women's Player of the Year award.

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

Australian national team forward Samantha Kerr playing against the United States in Carson, California, 2012

Australian national team forward Samantha Kerr playing against the United States in Carson, California, 2012

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Sydney Leroux in 2012

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


Selected national team

German national team in 2012

The Germany women's national football team (German: Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft der Frauen) represents Germany in international women's association football and is directed by the German Football Association (DFB). Initially called "West Germany" in informal English, the team played its first international match in 1982. After German reunification in 1990, the DFB squad remained the national team of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The German national team is one of the most successful in women's football. They are two-time world champions, having won the 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. Germany is the only nation to have won both the men's and the women's World Cup. The team has won eight of the eleven UEFA European Championships, claiming the last six titles in a row. Germany has won three bronze medals at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, finishing third in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Birgit Prinz holds the record for most appearances and is the team's all-time leading goalscorer. Prinz has also set international records; she has received the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times and is the joint overall top goalscorer at the Women's World Cup.

Women's football was long met with skepticism in Germany, and official matches were banned by the DFB until 1970. But the women's national team has grown in popularity since winning the World Cup in 2003, when it was also chosen as Germany's Sports Team of the Year. Silvia Neid has been the team's head coach since 2005, succeeding Tina Theune after nine years as her assistant. As of September 2013, Germany is ranked No. 2 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings.

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