Women's association football

Women's association football, usually known as women's football, is the team sport of association football when played by women's teams only. It is played at the professional level in numerous countries throughout the world and 176 national teams participate internationally.[1][2] The history of women's football has seen major competitions being launched at both the national and international levels.

Women's association football
Alex Morgan and Stefanie van der Gragt battle for the ball during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Final in Lyon, France
Highest governing bodyFIFA
Nicknames
First played1895; Glasgow, Scotland
Characteristics
Team members11 per side (including goalkeeper)
Mixed genderNo, separate competitions
Type
EquipmentFootball
VenueFootball pitch (football ground, soccer field, soccer ground or "pitch")
GlossaryGlossary of association football
Presence
Country or regionWorldwide
OlympicMen's since the 1900 Olympics and Women's since the 1996 Olympics

Women's football has faced many struggles throughout its history. Although its first golden age occurred in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s, with matches attracting large crowds (one match achieved over 50,000 spectators),[3] The Football Association initiated a ban in 1921 in England that disallowed women's football games from taking place on the grounds used by its member clubs. That ban remained in effect until July 1971.[4]

The inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup was held in China in 1991.[5] Since then, the sport has gained in popularity.[6] The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Final in Canada was the most watched football game in United States history[7] and over 1.12 billion people worldwide watched the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.[8]