News   |    August 1st, 2022

LIONESSES BRING IT HOME

The stage was perfectly poised as the Lionesses would challenge eight-time European champions Germany in the final of the 2022 Euros. As the host nation, expectations were almost overwhelming, yet Sarina Wiegman’s army of footballers appeared all too focused to be disrupted by the engulfing pressure and atmosphere of the international competition.

England ultimately made history after claiming the Euro 2022 trophy with a 2-1 win, ending the country’s 56-year drought without a major trophy. A fantastic chip from Ella Toone and an extra-time winner from Chloe Kelly gave the women in white the trophy in front of a record-breaking crowd of 87,192 – the biggest crowd recorded for a euros fixture.

This iconic moment will pave the way for the future of women’s football, inspiring the younger generation of female footballers, and providing a medley of sporting role models for them in the process. Against a variety of challenges, it is exceptionally impressive for these talented footballers to have achieved what they have, particularly given that some have a second job alongside their footballing profession.

According to Alex Scott, in 2018 clubs across the UK were asked if their grounds could be used for the Euros women’s fixtures, with the clubs in turn refusing permission. In a profound statement from Scott she mentions “I hope you’re all looking at yourselves right now because you weren’t brave enough”. Looking back at this unjust mistreatment, and to where football is for the female game now, is astounding. There should never have been any barriers to entry for them in the first place, whether it is for female footballers or any athlete from across any demographic. Sports in general should be all encompassing, with the ambition to facilitate every individual whether they are elite, amateur or beginner. Casting back to 2009, most of the national team had to pay to play, thankfully times are evolving but it is imperative that we are aware of the struggles that these professional athletes have to endure, in order to change those types of regulations for the better.

The success of the Women’s Euros will be sure to have provided a healthy and unbelievable level of admiration and support to the female sport. This remarkable victory will be the catalyst for improving attendances for the female leagues across not only the UK, but Europe and the world alike.

It is safe to say that the women showed the men how it is done, especially against our arch nemesis Germany, and as a nation, we couldn’t be prouder. The future looks bright for women’s football and long May it continue.

Photo by Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo

Alfie Bobbins - Business Manager, Integral Sports Management

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