Women’s Football

Today we look at some history, more specifically the history of women’s football. In 1920 a decision made by the Scottish Football Association to place a ban on the possibility of women’s football being played in any official sanctioned game, the result meaning no official grounds by SFA affiliated clubs could be used, the ban lasted much longer than the majority of European countries. Nevertheless some football teams toured the country to play on grounds available to them. In 1971 the ban of Women’s football was lifted after it was put to the vote by UEFA, it was a landslide victory with thirty one of the thirty two members voting to have the ban removed, the one being Scotland.

Subsequently the Scottish Women’s Football Association was founded and six clubs put their name forward for competitive football, Aberdeen, Edinburgh Dynamos, Westthorn United, Motherwell AEI, Dundee Strikers and Stewarton and Thistle. In 1972/73 Westthorn won the first ever league title. Having played their first official international match and two teams reaching the final of the English FA Women’s Cup in 1972 and ’73 the SFA eventually came to officially recognize the SWFA in August 1974. Over the years women’s football remained in existence in a similar form until 1999 when a reconstructing program was approved, renaming it Scottish Women’s Football, and Scottish Women’s Football League was established, 2002/03 saw a premier league breakaway to create what is now referred to as the SWPL or Scottish Womens Premier League. A number of years ago, the concept of girls being involved in football was laughed at and considered uncharted territory for women of any age. To date Glasgow City have been the dominating force, over the years enjoying an extended unbeaten record and several trebles to add to their already sizeable trophy cabinet, but recent times have saw competitors gradually mirror the infrastructure in place and subsequently become a realistic competitor to City, in turn improving competition.

2016 has presented us with a realistic possibility, the past few years the ladies side of football has enjoyed a meteoric rise. The national team present a real challenge, reaching a all time high of 19th in the FIFA rankings, Glasgow City reaching the quarter finals of the champions league, new age groups being created all the time and player development considered a priority within the majority of clubs. These facts and figures despite women’s football still being considered a purely amateur sport, if the right investment is in place, the continuation of the existing mind set and improvement of support from the relevant authorities, the question to be asked is there a possibility of the quality in women’s football eventually matching and overtaking the male equivalent.

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