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WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: HOW FANS FALL IN LOVE



Women's football is becoming more popular. Women's European Championship final tickets recently went on sale, but they sold out in less than an hour. The event is scheduled to take place at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022. The game may break the record for the most spectators ever at a men's or women's European Championship game.


Additionally, history was made on March 30, 2022, when 91,553 spectators turned out for the second leg of the UEFA Women's Champions League quarterfinal between Barcelona and Real Madrid. The number of spectators for a club women's football game was at an all-time high.


The FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 was a significant turning point in the UK. Women's football received a lot of coverage in the media, most of it favorable.


This followed a number of other developments, such as the accomplishments of female athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the beginning of the semi-professional (now fully professional) FA Women's Super League, and, starting in 2015, Sport England's national This Girl Can media campaign.


To find out how and why people support women's football, we looked into both of those things. We based our findings on interviews with 49 adults in England and 53 adults in the US who are female football supporters and have seen live matches of the 2019 Women's World Cup.


Massive Occasions.


Women's football mega events, particularly Olympic competitions and Women's World Cups were a crucial entry point for our interviewees. 91 percent of American fans and 69 percent of English fans talked about such events. While some fans had actually attended live matches, they typically only saw these events on television.


Online Fandom.


Just under a quarter of the fans we spoke to claimed that online venues like websites, streaming services, and social media were instrumental in the growth of their fandom. Social media websites were the starting point for some of the younger fans' interest in women's football. Felicity (25 years old, England) only started following the Women's Super League and the England women's team when she happened upon the online community This Fan Girl.


Involving Oneself.


Fans of women's football were more likely to become supporters after playing the sport themselves for 42% of Americans and 16% of English fans. Importantly, we discovered that this pathway only applied to females. Being a female player piqued her interest in the women's game.


In our study, women or girls who had a keen interest in women's football most frequently recruited 26 percent of US fans and 18 percent of English fans into women's football fandom. Approximately 50% of the men in the entire sample were included in this. According to earlier research, sports fandom is typically controlled by male family members and men in particular. Our study provides a significant counterargument. It's possible that women are now the main fans of women's sports.


Our study demonstrates how crucial media coverage is in influencing people to become supporters of women's football. This means that women's football should place a high priority on deserving media attention.


Women's football may be in the spotlight during major events like the Women's European Championships, Women's World Cup competitions, and Olympic Games, but these occasions also present a chance to share information about domestic leagues. The fan base may subsequently increase as a result of this.


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