Women's association football
|Highest governing body||FIFA|
|First played||1880s, Great Britain|
|Team members||11 per side (including goalkeeper)|
|Mixed-sex||No, separate competitions|
|Venue||Football pitch (football ground, soccer field, soccer ground or "pitch")|
|Glossary||Glossary of association football|
|Country or region||Worldwide|
Women's association football, more commonly known simply as women's football or women's soccer,[a] is a team sport of association football when played by women only. It is played at the professional level in multiple countries and 176 national teams participate internationally. The history of women's football has seen competitions being launched at both the national and international levels.
After the "first golden age" of women's football occurred in the United Kingdom in the 1920s, with one match attracting over 50,000 spectators, The Football Association instituted a ban from 1921 to 1970 in England that disallowed women's football on the grounds used by its member clubs. In many other nations, female footballers faced similarly hostile treatment and bans by male-dominated organisations.
In the 1970s, international women's football tournaments were extremely popular and the oldest surviving continental championship was founded, the Women's Asian Cup. However, FIFA did not allow a woman even to speak at the FIFA Congress until 1986 (Ellen Wille). The FIFA Women's World Cup was first held in China in 1991 and has become a major television event in many countries.
Women may have been playing football for as long as the game has existed. Evidence shows that a similar game (cuju) was played by women during the Han Dynasty (25–220 CE). Two female figures are depicted in Han Dynasty frescoes, playing Tsu Chu. There are a number of opinions about the accuracy of dates, the earliest estimates at 5000 BCE. Reports of an annual match being played in Midlothian, Scotland are reported as early as the 1790s. In 1863, football governing bodies introduced standardized rules to prohibit violence on the pitch, making it more socially acceptable for women to play.
The first match of an international character took place in 1881 at Hibernian Park in Edinburgh, part of a tour by Scotland and England teams. The Scottish Football Association recorded a women's match in 1892.
The British Ladies' Football Club was founded by activist Nettie Honeyball in England in 1894. Honeyball and those like her paved the way for women's football. However, the women's game was frowned upon by the British football associations, and continued without their support. It has been suggested that this was motivated by a perceived threat to the 'masculinity' of the game.
The Munitionettes' Cup
In August 1917, a tournament was launched for female munition workers' teams in north-east England. Officially titled the "Tyne Wear & Tees Alfred Wood Munition Girls Cup", it was also known as "The Munitionettes' Cup". The first winners of the trophy were Blyth Spartans, who defeated Bolckow Vaughan 5–0 in a replayed final tie at Middlesbrough on 18 May 1918 in front of a crowd of 22,000. The tournament ran for a second year in season 1918–19, the winners being the ladies of Palmer's shipyard in Jarrow, who defeated Christopher Brown's of Hartlepool 1–0 at St James' Park in Newcastle on 22 March 1919.
At the time of the First World War, employment in heavy industry spurred the growth of the game, like it had done for men fifty years earlier. A team from England played a team from Ireland on Boxing Day 1917 in front of a crowd of 20,000 spectators. The Irish side of this was dramatised in the play Rough Girls in 2021. Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C. of Preston, England played in the first women's international matches in 1920,[clarification needed] against a team from Paris, France, in April, and also made up most of the England team against a Scottish Ladies XI in 1920, winning 22–0.
FA ban (1921–1970)
Despite being more popular than some men's football events (one match saw a 53,000 strong crowd), women's football in England was halted in December 1921 when The Football Association outlawed the playing of the game on Association members' pitches, the FA stating that "the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged."
Players and football writers have argued that this ban was due to envy of the large crowds that women's matches attracted, and because the FA had no control over the money made from the women's game. Dick, Kerr Ladies player Alice Barlow said, "we could only put it down to jealousy. We were more popular than the men and our bigger gates were for charity."
In other countries, women's football was further debilitated by nationwide bans which often resembled the English FA's measures. The German Football Association banned women's soccer from 1955 until 1970. In Brazil, the Vargas regime and military dictatorship legally prohibited girls and women from playing football from 1941 to 1979.
- The English Ladies' Football Association Challenge Cup
Following the FA ban on women's teams on 5 December 1921, the English Ladies' Football Association was formed, with 58 affiliated clubs. A silver cup was donated by the first president of the association, Len Bridgett. A total of 23 teams entered the first competition in the spring of 1922. The winners were Stoke Ladies who beat Doncaster and Bentley Ladies 3–1 on 24 June 1922.
- The Championship of Great Britain and the World
In 1937, the Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C., who had lost to Scotland's Rutherglen Ladies in 1923 but continued to be proclaimed as "world champions", played the Edinburgh City Girls in the 'Championship of Great Britain and the World'. Dick, Kerr won the competition with a 5–1 scoreline. The 1939 competition was a more organised affair and the Edinburgh City Girls beat Dick, Kerr 5–2 in Edinburgh, following this up with a 7–1 demolition of Glasgow Ladies in Falkirk to take the title.
The 'revival' of the women's game
The ban in England was maintained by the FA for nearly fifty years, until January 1970. The next year, UEFA recommended that the national associations in each country should manage the women's game. In 2002, Lily Parr of Dick Kerr's Ladies was the first woman to be inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame. She was later honoured with a statue in front of the museum. It was not until 2008 (87 years later), that the FA issued an apology for banning women from the game of football.
Women's World Championships, 1970 and 1971
In 1970 an Italian women's football federation, known as Federazione Femminile Italiana Giuoco Calcio or FFIGC, ran the 1970 Women's World Cup in Italy, supported by the Martini and Rossi strong wine manufacturers, and entirely without the involvement of FIFA. This event was at least partly played by clubs. The 1971 Women's World Cup with national teams was hosted by Mexico the following year. The final, won by Denmark, was played at Estadio Azteca, the largest arena in the entire Americas north of the Panama Canal at the time, in front of crowds estimated at 110,000 or 112,500 attendees.
During the 1970s, Italy became the first country to introduce professional women's football players, on a part-time basis. Italy was also the first country to import foreign footballers from other European countries, which raised the profile of the league. Players during that era included Susanne Augustesen (Denmark), Rose Reilly and Edna Neillis (Scotland), Anne O'Brien (Ireland) and Concepcion Sánchez Freire (Spain). Sweden was the first to introduce a professional women's domestic league in 1988, the Damallsvenskan.
Asia and Oceania
In 2015, the Chinese Women's Super League (CWSL) was launched with an affiliated second division, CWFL. Previously, The Chinese Women's Premier Football League was initiated in 1997 and evolved to the Women's Super League in 2004. From 2011 to 2014, the league was named the Women's National Football League.
In 1985, the United States national soccer team was formed. Following the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, the first professional women's soccer league in the United States, the WUSA, was launched and lasted three years. The league was spearheaded by members of the World Cup-winning American team and featured players like Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain as well as top-tier international players like Germany's Birgit Prinz and China's Sun Wen. A second attempt towards a sustainable professional league, the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS), was launched in 2009 and folded in late 2011. The following year, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) was launched with initial support from the United States, Canadian, and Mexico federations.
A 2014 FIFA report stated that at the beginning of the 21st century, women's football, like men's football, was growing in both popularity and participation as well as more professional leagues worldwide. From the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup tournament held in 1991 to the 1,194,221 tickets sold for the 1999 Women's World Cup visibility and support of women's professional football has increased around the globe.
However, as in some other sports, women's pay and opportunities are lower in comparison with professional male football players. "Major league and international women's football have far less television and media coverage than the men's equivalent." While a number of features continue to improve, this is not the case for female coaches. They continue to be underrepresented in a number of European women's leagues. Despite these factors, the popularity and participation in women's football continues to grow.
In 2022, Barcelona had the largest reported attendances for women's football since the 1971 Women's World Cup final, Mexico–Denmark (110,000), at the Azteca Stadium. Real Madrid and Wolfsburg were the visiting teams at Camp Nou in the Champions League (91,553 and 91,648).
Women's World Cup
The first known World Cup tournaments for women's teams are the 1970 Women's World Cup in Italy and the 1971 Women's World Cup in Mexico, both of which hold attendance records and which were organised by the international women's association, FIEFF/FIFF. Some other major tournaments were the Women's World Invitational Tournament in Taiwan (1978–1987) and the Women's Mundialito in Japan and Italy (1981–1988). FIFA effectively ignored women's football prior to the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament in China. FIFA's first officially-recognised women's international match is France–Netherlands (1971), but this was not decided until 2003.
The first FIFA Women's World Cup was held in China in November 1991 and won by the United States. The runners-up, Norway, became the 1995 champions, beating Germany in that final, in Sweden. The United States controversially won the 1999 final on penalties against China (with a competition-record 90,000+ Pasadena crowd). Germany won consecutive world titles in 2003 and 2007, winning finals against Sweden and Brazil respectively. Japan became champions in 2011, the country's first senior football world championship. The US won again in 2015 and in 2019.
Since 1996, a Women's Football Tournament has been staged at the Olympic Games. Unlike in the men's Olympic Football tournament (based on teams of mostly under-23 players), the Olympic women's teams do not have restrictions due to professionalism or age.
The participation of Great Britain men's and women's sides at the 2012 Olympic tournament was a bone of contention because England and other British Home Nations are not eligible to compete as separate entities. Eventually, both the men's and women's Great Britain teams fielded some players from the other home nations, but without their associations' active support.
UEFA Women's Championship
European women's tournaments featuring national teams were held in Italy in 1969 and in 1979 as the European Competition for Women's Football. They were not recognized as "official" by UEFA, which opposed women's football until the 1970s. The UEFA championship began in 1984 under the name European Competition For Representative Women's Teams.
The 1984 Finals was won by Sweden. Norway won the 1987 Finals. Between 1987 and 2013, the UEFA Women's Championship was then dominated by Germany, who won eight titles, including six in a row from 1995 to 2013. The only other teams to win, as of 2022, are Norway in 1993, the Netherlands at home in 2017, and England at home in 2022.
Copa Libertadores Femenina
Copa Libertadores Femenina (Women's Liberators Cup) formally known as CONMEBOL Libertadores Femenina is the international women's football club competition for teams that play in CONMEBOL nations. The competition started in the 2009 season in response to the increased interest in women's football. It is the only CONMEBOL club competition for women.
SAFF Women's Championship
The SAFF Women's Championship, also called the South Asian Football Federation Women's Cup, is the main association football competition of the women's national football teams, governed by the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF). All seven members are eligible to participate in this tournament.
India won first 5 edition so far, beating Nepal four times and Bangladesh once in the final. Bangladesh is the current champion having defeated Nepal by 3–1 goals on 19 September 2022 in the final.
Women's FA Cup
After the lifting of the FA ban, the Women's Football Association held its first national knockout tournament, the 1970–71 WFA Cup. Southampton Women's F.C. was the inaugural winner and became the Cup-winner eight times. From 1983 to 1994, Doncaster Belles reached ten out of 11 finals, winning six of them. As of 2022, Chelsea are the holders and Arsenal are the club with a record 14 wins. Despite tournament sponsorship by some companies, entering the cup actually costs clubs more than they get in prize money. In 2015 it was reported that even if Notts County had won the tournament outright the £8,600 winnings would leave them out of pocket. The winners of the men's FA Cup in the same year received £1.8 million, with teams not reaching the first round proper getting more than the women's winners.
In 2002, FIFA inaugurated a women's youth championship, officially called the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship. The first event was hosted by Canada. The final was an all-CONCACAF affair, with the USA defeating the host Canadians 1–0 with an extra-time golden goal. The second event was held in Thailand in 2004 and won by Germany. The age limit was raised to 20, starting with the 2006 event held in Russia. Demonstrating the increasing global reach of the women's game, the winners of this event were North Korea. The tournament was renamed the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, effective with the 2008 edition won by the US in Chile. Japan won the tournament in France in 2018.
In the United States, the intercollegiate sport began from physical education programs. In the 1970s, women's club teams started to appear on college campus, but it wasn't until the 1980s that they started to gain recognition and gained a varsity status. Brown University was the first college to grant full varsity level status to their women's soccer team. The Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) sponsored the first regional women's soccer tournament at college in the US, which was held at Brown University. The first national level tournament was held at Colorado College, which gained official AIAW sponsorship in 1981. The 1990s saw greater participation mainly due to the Title IX of 23 June 1972, which increased school's budgets and their addition of women's scholarships. Currently there are over 700 intercollegiate women's soccer teams in the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA.
The college sports system and Title IX have been criticized for promoting systemic racism and wealth inequality in women's soccer in the US. Female college soccer players are 70% white, with the sport also being "disproportionately white and upper-middle-class". Participating in American youth soccer is substantially more expensive than in basketball or tackle football, and academy soccer clubs are mainly located in suburbs and districts where Black players are under-represented. As a result, in the National Women's Soccer League in 2020, the coaches and executives were 98.9% white. Three women's soccer coaches were implicated in the 2019 college admissions bribery scandal. NCAA Division I programs in money-losing sports, such as soccer, are extensively subsidized by the only two high-revenue college sports, basketball and American football, in which Black players are greatly over-represented, but the players are paid no salaries and are "systematically denied the revenue they are responsible for generating".
Sexist comments and decision-making
A number of footballers around the globe wear a kit made up of a jersey, shorts, cleats (boots) and knee-length socks worn over shin guards. In 2004, FIFA President Sepp Blatter suggested that women footballers should "wear tighter shorts and low cut shirts... to create a more female aesthetic" and attract more male fans. His comment was criticized as sexist by people involved with women's football and media outlets worldwide.
In September 2008, FC de Rakt women's team (FC de Rakt DA1) in the Netherlands made international headlines by swapping its old kit for a new one featuring "short" skirts and "tight-fitting" shirts. This innovation, which had been requested by the team itself, was initially vetoed by the Royal Dutch Football Association on the grounds that according to the rules of the game shorts must be worn by all players, both male and female; but this decision was reversed when it was revealed that the FC de Rakt team were wearing "hot" pants under their skirts, and were therefore technically in compliance. Denying that the kit change was merely a publicity stunt, club chairman Jan van den Elzen told Reuters:
The girls asked us if they could make a team and asked specifically to play in skirts. We said we'd try but we didn't expect to get permission for that. We've seen reactions from Belgium and Germany already saying this could be something for them. Many girls would like to play in skirts but didn't think it was possible.
21-year-old team captain Rinske Temming said:
We think they are far more elegant than the traditional shorts and furthermore they are more comfortable because the shorts are made for men. It's more about being elegant, not sexy. Female football is not so popular at the moment. In the Netherlands there's an image that it's more for men, but we hope that can change.
Women's football in Middle East and North Africa
Until 2020 only Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Palestine, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Israel had large-scale women's competitions and national teams, which are still hindered due to discrimination against women in football.
Since 2020, countries that have traditionally been seen as extreme like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Mauritania and Sudan have begun to develop women's football in order to raise their international profiles and to distance themselves from their conservative pasts. Sudan women's national football team debuted in 2021 and the Saudi Arabia women's team was internationally noticed, due to Saudi Arabia's religious conservatism and its radical Islamic school of thought.
Wearing of hijabs
In June 2011, Iran forfeited an Olympic qualification match in Jordan, after trying to take to the field in hijabs and full body suits. FIFA awarded a default 3–0 win to Jordan, explaining that the Iranian kits were "an infringement of the Laws of the Game". The decision provoked criticism from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while Iranian officials alleged that the actions of the Bahraini match delegate had been politically motivated. In July 2012, FIFA approved the wearing of hijab in future matches.
- Geography of women's association football
- International competitions in women's football
- List of women's association football clubs
- Women's sports
- Title IX
- Bend It Like Beckham
- She's the Man
- Alex & Me
- Mustangs FC
- For further information, see names for association football.
- Gibbs, Stuart (24 October 2018). "The strange birth of women's football". The Football Pink. Archived from the original on 25 February 2020.
- Patrick Brennan. "England v Scotland - 1881". Archived from the original on 6 March 2022.
- "The FIFA Women's World Ranking". FIFA. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011.
- "Trail-blazers who pioneered women's football". BBC News. 3 June 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- "Women's FA Cup final: The evolution of women's football". BBC Sport. 4 December 2021.
- "The Offside Museum highlights when women were banned from playing soccer". The Drum. Archived from the original on 9 June 2019.
- Bill Wilson (7 December 2018). "Mexico 1971: When women's football hit the big time". BBC News. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
- "Martini and Rosso's sponsorship of the Women's World Cups in 1970 and 1971 Celebrating 50 years since an innovative sports partnership began". JJ Heritage. 6 June 2020.
- Gorman, Sophie (26 June 2019). "Ellen Wille, the mother of women's football". France 24.
- Sandomir, Richard (7 July 2015). "Women's World Cup final was most-watched soccer game in US history". CNBC. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- FIFA.com. "FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 - News - FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 watched by more than 1 billion - FIFA.com". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- "Genesis of the Global Game". The Global Game. Archived from the original on 21 May 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2006.
- "The Chinese and Tsu Chu". The Football Network. Retrieved 1 May 2006.
- "A Brief History of Women's Football". Scottish Football Association. Archived from the original on 8 March 2005. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Football history: Winning ways of wedded women" Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- The FA – "Women's Football- A Brief History"
- "Plaque to the First Women Football Internationalists 1881". Women of Scotland. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020.
- "The Honeyballers: Women who fought to play football". BBC News. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
- Mårtensson, Stefan (June 2010). "Branding women's football in a field of hegemonic masculinity". Entertainment and Sports Law Journal. 8: 5. doi:10.16997/eslj.44.
- Storey, Neil R. (2010). Women in the First World War. Osprey Publishing. p. 61. ISBN 978-0747807520.
- "Croft Park, Newcastle: Blyth Spartans Ladies FC, World War One At Home". BBC. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- Adie, Kate (2013). Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1444759709. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Home Front – The Forgotten First International Women's Football Match – BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- Roy, David (4 September 2021). "Tara Lynne O'Neill on new football play Rough Girls and the return of Derry Girls". The Irish News.
- Leighton, Tony (10 February 2008). "FA apologies for 1921 ban". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "The History of Women's Football in England". The FA. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- Wrack, Suzanne (13 June 2022). "How the FA banned women's football in 1921 and tried to justify it". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
- "Trail-blazers who pioneered women's football". 3 June 2005 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
- Wünsch, Silke (20 June 2011). "The elusive popularity of women's football". DW.com. Deutsche Welle.
- Costa, Ana. "The history of women's football in Brazil". Sport and Development. Archived from the original on 26 June 2020.
- Newsham, Gail (2014). In a League of Their Own. The Dick, Kerr Ladies 1917–1965. Paragon Publishing.
- Brennan, Patrick. "The English Ladies' Football Association". Donmouth. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- Taylor, Matthew (2013). The Association Game: A History of British Football. Routledge. p. 135. ISBN 978-1317870081. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Williams, Jean (2014). A Contemporary History of Women's Sport, Part One: Sporting Women, 1850–1960. Routledge. ISBN 978-1317746652. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Brennan, Patrick. "Stoke Ladies FC". Donmouth.
- Fiona Skillen; Steve Bolton (18 February 2021). "Women's Football in Interwar Scotland:Sadie Smith and the Legendary Rutherglen Ladies FC | Part 2". Playing Pasts. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
- New exhibition to pay tribute to Rutherglen's trailblazing female footballers, Jonathan Geddes, Daily Record, 5 December 2021
- Murray, Scott (2010). Football For Dummies, UK Edition. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0470664407.
- University of Leicester fact sheet on women's football Archived 18 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "The female football mania that led to it being banned". 12 December 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2020 – via BBC News.
- "How women's football battled for survival". 3 June 2005 – via BBC News.
- Katz, Brigit. "Lily Parr, a Pioneering English Footballer, Scores Bronze Monument". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- "From banned to blooming: the evolution of women's football". RFI. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- Williams, Jean (2014). "2: 'Soccer matters very much, every day'". In Agergaard, Sine; Tiesler, Nina Clara (eds.). Women, Soccer and Transnational Migration. Routledge. p. 26. ISBN 978-1135939380.
- Denmark was represented by a club, that also won the tournament. Stated in Danish DR2's TV-documentary about the 1971 event of the same kind 
- "Da Danmark blev verdensmestre i fodbold – DRTV" – via www.dr.dk.
- Jeanes, Ruth (10 September 2009). "Ruff Guide to Women & Girls Football". Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "Damallsvenskan – Swedish Women's Soccer League". 13 April 2015.
- McIntyre, Scott (17 July 2012). "Japan's second-class citizens the world's best". SBS. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Edwards, Elise (4 August 2011). "NOT A CINDERELLA STORY: THE LONG ROAD TO A JAPANESE WORLD CUP VICTORY". Stanford University Press. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Murray, Jeremy A.; Nadeau, Kathleen M. (15 August 2016). Pop Culture in Asia and Oceania. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-4408-3991-7.
- "Chinese Women's Super League launched to promote women's soccer- Chinadaily.com.cn". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- "India – List of Women Champions". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- "Mike Ryan, The First Coach of the U.S. WNT Passes Away at 77". United States Soccer Federation. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- "2003 WOMEN'S WORLD". ESPN.com. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- Bell, Jack (8 April 2002). "W.U.S.A. Returns With a Full Lineup". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- MANDELL, NINA. "WPS, second attempt at a professional women's soccer league in the U.S., officially folds after three seasons". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- Goff, Steven (13 April 2013). "National Women's Soccer League aims to succeed where previous U.S. women's soccer leagues have failed". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- Univision. "Women's soccer league in Mexico draws huge crowds". Univision (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- "The women's game's incessant growth". FIFA. 8 March 2014. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Dodd: Women's football deserves a blueprint for growth". FIFA. 12 May 2014. Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup History". FIFA. Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "50 facts about the FIFA Women's World Cup" (PDF). FIFA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "Women's Football" (PDF). FIFA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Gibson, Owen (8 September 2009). "Men's and women's football: a game of two halves". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Football – England women 'refuse to sign' FA contracts in wage dispute". Eurosport. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "No increase in women's sport coverage since the 2012 Olympics". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Gomez-Gonzalez, Carlos; Dietl, Helmut; Nesseler, Cornel (November 2019). "Does performance justify the underrepresentation of women coaches? Evidence from professional women's soccer". Sport Management Review. 22 (5): 640–651. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2018.09.008. S2CID 150178326.
- "The incredible growth of women's soccer". FIFA. 11 June 2013. Archived from the original (video) on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Kraft (22 April 2022). "Frauenfußball: "Weltrekord" des FC Barcelona im Camp Nou ist keiner [FC Barcelona's "world record" at Camp Nou is not one]". SPOX. Goal. Archived from the original on 22 April 2022.
- "Barcelona presume récord de asistencia femenil, aunque México tiene uno mayor [Barcelona claims female attendance record, although Mexico has a higher one]". ESPN. 22 April 2022. Archived from the original on 23 April 2022.
- "Redefining the Sport, Redefining the Culture". Fútbol with Grant Wahl. 20 April 2022.
- Gulino, Joey (30 March 2022). "Record 91,553 fans watch Barcelona women oust Real Madrid from Champions League". Yahoo Sports.
- "Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation — Women's FIFA Invitational Tournament 1988". Rsssf.com. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- "Women's Football – First ladies pave the way". FIFA.com.
- "England to go solo with 2012 Olympic team?". ESPNsoccernet. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009.
- "Coppa Europa per Nazioni (Women) 1969". Rsssf.com. 19 March 2001. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- "Inofficial European Women Championship 1979". Rsssf.com. 15 October 2000. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- "Copa Libertadores Femenina". Soccerway. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "GoalNepal.com - A Complete Nepali Football website". Goalnepal.com. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
- "Ranjith Rodrigo appointed acting President of SAFF". Dailynews.lk. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
- "Bangladesh women make history, clinch maiden SAFF title". The Daily Star. 19 September 2022. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
- Laverty, Glenn (1 June 2014). "Kelly Smith stars as Arsenal retain The FA Women's Cup". Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Women's FA Cup: Wembley win may not benefit clubs financially". BBC Sport. 31 July 2015.
- Prize money list on the FA website
- "Match Report: Spain–Japan, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018". FIFA. 24 August 2018. Archived from the original on 21 August 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
- "Pina-inspired Spain win maiden U-17 Women's World Cup title" (Press release). FIFA. 1 December 2018. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
- "College admissions scandal a 'slap in the face' to minority athletes". USA Today. Archived from the original on 19 March 2019.
- "Maryland women's soccer is unapologetically Black". The Diamondback. 10 September 2020.
- "College Admissions Scandal Shows Racism In NCAA Sports". Time. 14 March 2019.
- "Why soccer is such a white sport in the United States". Yahoo Sports. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020.
- "'I signed my life to rich white guys': athletes on the racial dynamics of college sports". The Guardian. 17 March 2021.
- Christenson, Marcus; Kelso, Paul (16 January 2004). "Soccer chief's plan to boost women's game? Hotpants". The Guardian.
- "Women footballers blast Blatter". BBC News. 16 January 2004. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- Tidey, Will (31 May 2013). "Sepp Blatter's Most Embarrassing Outbursts". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Football: Said and Done, The Observer (London); Sep 21, 2008; David Hills; p. 15". Guardian. 21 September 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- Alistair Potter (30 June 2011). "Cash-strapped Russian team to play in bikinis to bring back fans". Metro. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- "Female football in the Middle East and Northern Africa". 4 June 2019.
- "Women's World Cup 2019: Where is the Middle East?". 3 July 2019.
- "Arab nations cannot afford to ignore the rise of women's football". 29 July 2020.
- "Arab Women's Cup 2021: Sudan WNT international debut, fixtures, fast facts". 25 August 2021.
- "Saudi Arabia claims victory in its first ever women's international match".
- "FIFA say Iran's women were warned about dress". Reuters. 6 June 2011.
- "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blasts Fifa 'dictators' as Iranian ban anger rises". Guardian. London. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
- Dehghanpisheh, Babak (17 July 2011). "Soccer's Headscarf Scandal in Iran". Newsweek. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- Homewood, Brian (5 July 2012). "Goal line technology and Islamic headscarf approved". Reuters.
This section needs to be updated.(July 2022)
- David J. Williamson (1991). Belles of the ball: The Early History of Women's Association Football. R&D Associates. p. 100. ISBN 0-9517512-0-4. OCLC 24751810.