1991 FIFA Women's World Cup


The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup, the world championship for women's national association football teams. It took place in Guangdong, China from 16 to 30 November 1991. FIFA, football's international governing body selected China as host nation as Guangdong had hosted a prototype world championship three years earlier, the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament. Matches were played in the provincial capital, Guangzhou, as well as in Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan. The competition was sponsored by Mars, Incorporated, maker of M&M's candy. With FIFA still reluctant to bestow their "World Cup" brand, the tournament was officially known as the 1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup.[1]

1991 FIFA Women's World Cup
1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&Ms Cup
Official logo
Tournament details
Host countryChina
Dates16–30 November
Teams12 (from 6 confederations)
Venue(s)6 (in 4 host cities)
Final positions
Champions United States (1st title)
Runners-up Norway
Third place Sweden
Fourth place Germany
Tournament statistics
Matches played26
Goals scored99 (3.81 per match)
Attendance510,000 (19,615 per match)
Top scorer(s) Michelle Akers-Stahl (10 goals)
Best player(s) Carin Jennings
Fair play award Germany
1995

It was won by the United States,[2] whose captain April Heinrichs formed a forward line dubbed the "triple–edged sword" with Carin Jennings and Michelle Akers-Stahl. Jennings was named player of the tournament while Akers-Stahl's ten goals won the Golden Shoe.[3] The United States defeated Norway 2–1 in the final in front of a crowd of 65,000 people at Guangzhou's Tianhe Stadium.[4] Total attendance for the tournament was 510,000, an average per match of 19,615. In the opening match at the same stadium, Norway was defeated 4–0 by hosts China. Chinese defender Ma Li scored the first goal in Women's World Cup history, while goalkeeper Zhong Honglian, also of China, posted the first official "clean sheet" in the tournament.

The 12 qualified teams were divided into three groups of four (A to C). The top two teams and the two best third-place finishers from the three groups advanced to the knockout round of eight teams. For only the first edition of the Women's World Cup, all matches lasted only 80 minutes, instead of the typical 90, and two points were awarded for a win (both of which would change in 1995).[5]

Venues


Yuexiu, Guangzhou Tianhe, Guangzhou Panyu, Guangzhou
Guangdong Provincial Stadium Tianhe Stadium Ying Tung Stadium
Capacity: 25,000 Capacity: 60,000 Capacity: 15,000
Foshan Jiangmen Zhongshan
New Plaza Stadium Jiangmen Stadium Zhongshan Stadium
Capacity: 14,000 Capacity: 13,000 Capacity: 12,000

Teams


Twelve teams qualified for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup final tournament. Each of the six FIFA confederations had at least one representative.

Squads


For a list of the squads that contended for the final tournament, see 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup squads.

Match officials


For the first time in FIFA competition, six female officials were included. All functioned as assistant referees, except for Cláudia Vasconcelos who took charge of the third place play-off; becoming the first woman to referee a match sanctioned by FIFA.[6][7]

Confederation Referee Appointments[8]
Male officials
AFC Dai Yuguang (China PR) 4 matches as assistant referee
Li Haiseng (China PR) 2 matches as assistant referee
Lu Jun (China PR) 2 matches as referee, 1 match as assistant referee
Gyanu Shrestha (Nepal) 2 matches as referee, 1 match as assistant referee
Xuezhi Wang (China PR) 3 matches as assistant referee
Yu Jingyin (China PR) 4 matches as assistant referee
CAF Fethi Boucetta (Tunisia) 2 matches as referee, 2 matches as assistant referee
Omer Yengo (Congo) 2 matches as referee, 1 match as assistant referee
CONCACAF Rafael Rodríguez Medina (El Salvador) 3 matches as referee, 2 matches as assistant referee
CONMEBOL Salvador Imperatore (Chile) 3 matches as referee
John Toro Rendón (Colombia) 3 matches as referee, 1 match as assistant referee
UEFA Jim McCluskey (Scotland) 3 matches as referee, 2 matches as assistant referee
Vassilios Nikakis (Greece) 2 matches as referee, 1 match as assistant referee
Vadim Zhuk (Soviet Union) 3 matches as referee, 1 match as assistant referee
Female officials
AFC Zuo Xiudi (China PR) 5 matches as assistant referee
CONCACAF María Herrera García (Mexico) 3 matches as assistant referee
CONMEBOL Cláudia Vasconcelos (Brazil) 1 match as referee, 3 matches as assistant referee
OFC Linda May Black (New Zealand) 5 matches as assistant referee
UEFA Gertrud Regus (Germany) 6 matches as assistant referee
Ingrid Jonsson (Sweden) 5 matches as assistant referee

Tournament review


FIFA's technical report demonstrates that, after the tournament, players and officials were undecided whether to persist with 80-minute matches, or to change to 90 minutes in line with men's football. Opinion was also divided about the suitability of using a size five football. Some teams reported difficulty in sourcing good quality equipment in the correct size.[9]

The tournament was considered a major success in the quality of play and attendances at the games. FIFA president João Havelange wrote that:[10]

"As president of FIFA it was a special pleasure for me to watch these young ladies playing with such flair and such elegance, and according to the reports of the many media representatives present, making the game truly into a celebration ... women's football is now well and truly established."

The perceived success of the tournament was a significant factor in the subsequent inclusion of women's football in the 1996 Summer Olympics.[11] Sue Lopez reported that although attendances were very high, many tickets were complimentary. The "novelty factor" of women from foreign lands playing football also encouraged local people to attend.[12]

Draw


The draw for the group stage was held on 14 September 1991 at the Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou, China. The draw was part of a televised two-hour live show, featuring songs in both Chinese and English from the female singers Zhang Qiang (Beijing), Lin Ping (Guangzhou), Jenny Tseng (Hong Kong) and Irene Yeh [zh] (Taiwan).[13]

Group stage


Countries and result

Teams were awarded two points for a win, one point for a draw, and none for a defeat.[5]

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  China PR (H) 3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 5 Advance to knockout stage
2  Norway 3 2 0 1 6 5 +1 4
3  Denmark 3 1 1 1 6 4 +2 3
4  New Zealand 3 0 0 3 1 11 10 0
Source: FIFA
(H) Host
China PR 4–0 Norway
Report
Denmark 3–0 New Zealand
Report
Attendance: 14,000[8]
Referee: Omer Yengo (Congo)

Norway 4–0 New Zealand
Report
China PR 2–2 Denmark
Report

China PR 4–1 New Zealand
Report
Attendance: 14,000[8]
Referee: Raja Shrestha Gyanu (Nepal)
Norway 2–1 Denmark
Report

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  United States 3 3 0 0 11 2 +9 6 Advance to knockout stage
2  Sweden 3 2 0 1 12 3 +9 4
3  Brazil 3 1 0 2 1 7 6 2
4  Japan 3 0 0 3 0 12 12 0
Source: FIFA
Japan 0–1 Brazil
Report
Attendance: 14,000[8]
Referee: Lu Jun (China PR)
Sweden 2–3 United States
Report

Japan 0–8 Sweden
Report
Attendance: 14,000[8]
Referee: Raja Shrestha Gyanu (Nepal)
Brazil 0–5 United States
Report

Japan 0–3 United States
Report
Brazil 0–2 Sweden
Report
Attendance: 12,000[8]
Referee: Lu Jun (China PR)

Group C

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Germany 3 3 0 0 9 0 +9 6 Advance to knockout stage
2  Italy 3 2 0 1 6 2 +4 4
3  Chinese Taipei 3 1 0 2 2 8 6 2
4  Nigeria 3 0 0 3 0 7 7 0
Source: FIFA
Germany 4–0 Nigeria
Report
Attendance: 14,000[8]
Referee: Rafael Rodríguez Medina (El Salvador)
Chinese Taipei 0–5 Italy
Report
Attendance: 11,000[8]
Referee: Fethi Boucetta (Tunisia)

Italy 1–0 Nigeria
Report
Chinese Taipei 0–3 Germany
Report
Attendance: 10,000[8]
Referee: Fethi Boucetta (Tunisia)

Chinese Taipei 2–0 Nigeria
Report
Attendance: 14,000[8]
Referee: Rafael Rodríguez Medina (El Salvador)
Italy 0–2 Germany
Report

Ranking of third-placed teams

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 A  Denmark 3 1 1 1 6 4 +2 3 Advance to knockout stage
2 C  Chinese Taipei 3 1 0 2 2 8 6 2
3 B  Brazil 3 1 0 2 1 7 6 2
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored.

Knockout stage


Bracket

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
24 November – Guangzhou (Tianhe)
 
 
 China PR0
 
27 November – Guangzhou (Ying Tung)
 
 Sweden1
 
 Sweden1
 
24 November – Jiangmen
 
 Norway4
 
 Norway (a.e.t.)3
 
30 November – Guangzhou (Tianhe)
 
 Italy2
 
 Norway1
 
24 November – Zhongshan
 
 United States2
 
 Denmark1
 
27 November – Guangzhou (Provincial)
 
 Germany (a.e.t.)2
 
 Germany2
 
24 November – Foshan
 
 United States5 Third place play-off
 
 United States7
 
29 November – Guangzhou (Provincial)
 
 Chinese Taipei0
 
 Sweden4
 
 
 Germany0
 

Quarter-finals

Denmark 1–2 (a.e.t.) Germany
Report

China PR 0–1 Sweden
Report

Norway 3–2 (a.e.t.) Italy
Report
Attendance: 13,000[8]
Referee: Rafael Rodríguez Medina (El Salvador)

United States 7–0 Chinese Taipei
Report
Attendance: 12,000[8]
Referee: Omer Yengo (Congo)

Semi-finals

Sweden 1–4 Norway
Report

Germany 2–5 United States
Report

Third place play-off

Sweden 4–0 Germany
Report

Final

Norway 1–2 United States
Report
Attendance: 63,000[8]

Awards


The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament:[14]

Golden Ball Silver Ball Bronze Ball
Carin Jennings Michelle Akers-Stahl Linda Medalen
Golden Shoe Silver Shoe Bronze Shoe
Michelle Akers-Stahl Heidi Mohr Linda Medalen
Carin Jennings
10 goals 7 goals 6 goals
FIFA Fair Play Award
 Germany

Statistics


Goalscorers

There were 99 goals scored in 26 matches, for an average of 3.81 goals per match. Michelle Akers-Stahl of the United States won the Golden Shoe award for scoring ten goals.

10 goals

7 goals

6 goals

5 goals

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

1 own goal

Assists

4 assists

3 assists

2 assists

1 assist

Source: FIFA Technical Report[15]

Tournament ranking

Per statistical convention in football, matches decided in extra time are counted as wins and losses, while matches decided by penalty shoot-outs are counted as draws.

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Final result
1 B  United States 6 6 0 0 25 5 +20 12 Champions
2 A  Norway 6 4 0 2 14 10 +4 8 Runners-up
3 B  Sweden 6 4 0 2 18 7 +11 8 Third place
4 C  Germany 6 4 0 2 13 10 +3 8 Fourth place
5 A  China PR (H) 4 2 1 1 10 4 +6 5 Eliminated in
quarter-finals
6 C  Italy 4 2 0 2 8 5 +3 4
7 A  Denmark 4 1 1 2 7 6 +1 3
8 C  Chinese Taipei 4 1 0 3 2 15 13 2
9 B  Brazil 3 1 0 2 1 7 6 2 Eliminated in
group stage
10 C  Nigeria 3 0 0 3 0 7 7 0
11 A  New Zealand 3 0 0 3 1 11 10 0
12 B  Japan 3 0 0 3 0 12 12 0
Source: FIFA Technical Report[16]
(H) Host

References


  1. Mattei, Al. "WUSA opening a feast for the eyes – and ears". TopOfTheCircle.com. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  2. Ciapala, Derek (18 June 2012). "History of the FIFA Women's World Cup, 1991–present – World Soccer – Yahoo! Sports". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  3. "CNN/SI – Women's World Cup – Women's World Cup History – Thursday February 11, 1999 06:04 PM". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  4. Basler, Barbara (1 December 1991). "U.S. Women Beat Norway To Capture World Cup". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  5. Williams, Jean (1 November 2007). A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football. Berg Publishers. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-84788-345-2. Some of the terms and conditions had been changed this time: 90 minutes of play instead of 80 in China, a full group of 20 players instead of 18, three points for a win, and the experiment with time out.
  6. Lopez 1997, p. 195
  7. "FIFA Women's World Cup – China PR 1991". FIFA. Archived from the original on 11 March 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013. In keeping with the true spirit of the celebration, six female referees or assistant referees were appointed among match officials for the first time in FIFA history. Claudia de Vasconcelos of Brazil, the referee for the 3rd-place match, became the first woman to officiate at this level for FIFA.
  8. "1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup China '91 – Technical Report" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  9. "FIFA Women's World Cup China '91 – Technical Report & Statistics" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  10. Lopez 1997, p. 173
  11. Lopez 1997, p. 175
  12. Lopez 1997, p. 207
  13. "Statistical Kit – The Draw for the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019" (PDF). FIFA. 6 December 2018. p. 39. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  14. Awards 1991
  15. "FIFA Technical Report" (PDF). FIFA.
  16. "FIFA Women's World Cup 1991 – Technical Report, Part 2: Final ranking" (PDF). FIFA. p. 93 (32 of PDF). Retrieved 1 July 2019.
General references
  • Lisi, Clemente Angelo (2010). The U.S. Women's Soccer Team: An American Success Story. Plymouth, England: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7415-2.
  • Lopez, Sue (1997). Women on the Ball: A Guide to Women's Football. London, England: Scarlet Press. ISBN 1-85727-016-9.