The FA Get Behind Women’s Football With A Great New Initiative

The Football Association have started a campaign to promote women’s football. Called #WeCanPlay it aims to inspire girls of all ages. The question is, why does women’s football need an initiative like this? Why does England feel that ladies’ football is not worth supporting without a push from the FA?

Is ladies’ football a recent sport?

Women playing football isn't a new thing, they have been kicking a ball around the field in competition since the 1890s. In fact, during the First World War, with all the men away from the country, women’s football was very popular and it drew in large crowds. It lost this momentum in the decades that followed, and it took until 1991 for there to be a Women’s World Cup. And it took until 2015 for the whole tournament to be shown on TV. Although there is some progression, the households of England haven’t got St George flags hanging from their windows, workplaces aren’t showing the games in the lunch room and pubs aren’t packed with fans cheering at large screen TVs. There is still a long way to go before the women’s game is looked upon in the same light as the men’s.

Some facts about women’s football

The FA have released some interesting stats with their new campaign. Apparently football is the largest team sport for the ladies, but half of all 7 to 11 year old girls think football isn't for them. Of those that do play, 25% of them think they aren’t very good. Parents are just as much to blame with mums and dads all over the country actually discouraging their daughters from starting football. The computer gaming industry hasn't helped either in the past. EA Sports has only just introduced female players to its FIFA line up - and this caused a Twitter stir with a barrage of predictable quotes about shirt swapping on the pitch.

Why do we need #WeCanPlay?

England needs to get behind a more positive image for women’s football if we are going to encourage the next generation of players. The USA have managed it - they have lady players who the young girls really look up too, and they earn high amounts of money. America's Mia Hamm is arguably the most famous female footballer and she inspires many women to get into football the world over. This campaign has to backed by women themselves to make it work. Women need to support the game and their fellow players - get out there and watch the ladies play whether that is the local squad or the school team. Post your most inspirational stories to #WeCanPlay and let’s elevate women’s football to the height it deserves.

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