What a year it’s been for women in sport and the World Cup final on the 7th July has really been the icing on the cake with four-time World Cup champions – the USA Women’s national team beating the Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday’s final.
To give you an idea of just how big women’s soccer is the the USA – the final in 2019 was the highest-rated soccer telecast in the U.S. since the 2015 women’s final and much bigger than the mens final a year ago. And the performance of Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe has secured their place as some of the most popular women in sport.
The World Cup final delivered an average of 13.98 million viewers on Fox. That’s 12 % higher than the 12.51 million who tuned in across all platforms for the 2018 men’s final between France and Croatia.
The competition has been held every four years since 1991, when the inaugural then called the FIFA Women’s World Championship, was held in China.
1970 – The Unofficial Women’s World Cup
There was an unofficial World Cup before this! In 1970 the first international tournament took place in Italy, This was followed by another unofficial tournament the following year in Mexico, where Denmark won the title after beating Mexico in the final.
Several countries lifted their ban on women’s football in the 1970s, leading to new teams being established across Europe and North America, this lead to an invitational tournament in China in 1988 as a test to see if a global women’s World Cup was feasible. Twelve national teams took part in the competition. The opening game between China and Canada was attended by 45,000. Norway won the competition.
The competition was deemed a big success and on 30 June FIFA approved the establishment of an official World Cup, which was to take place in 1991 again in China. 12 teams competed for the first official Women’s Soccer World Cup with the USA winning the tournament.
Winners since 1991
1991 – Competition was hosted in China. The USA beat Norway 2-1 to claim the title
1995 – Women’s World Cup was held in Sweden and Germany won the competition, beating Norway 2-0 in the final
1999 – The hosts and winners were the USA beat China. The score was 0-0 but the USA claimed the title with a 5-4 win in penalties. This year had the highest attendance of all the Women’s World Cup tournaments. An average of 37,994 people attended matches with 90,185 attending the final!
2003 – It was hosted in the USA again, where Germany beat Sweden 2-1 to win the title.
2007 – China where the hosts where Germany beat Brazil 2-0 in the final
2011 – The previous winners Germany hosted the competition, which was won by Japan who beat the USA 2-2 3-1 in penalties.
2015 – Canada hosted and the USA beat Japan 5-2. The 2015 Women’s World Cup saw the field expand from 16 to 24 teams.
2019 – Competition was hosted by the French where the USA claimed their 4th World Cup title beating 2-0.
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