The Women’s Euros 2022 are dazzling
I’m embracing the Women’s Euros. I went to Brighton yesterday to see England 8 – 0 Norway and went to Brentford last week to see Germany 4 – 0 Denmark.
Both games have been a real joy to attend and to watch.
Firstly, the stadiums were brilliant and congratulations to Brentford FC and Brighton & Hove Albion for hosting (alongside all the other enlightened clubs who are supportive of the women’s game and agreed for their clubs to be hosts).
Secondly, the crowds were amazing – a real mix of women, men, couples, families, kids teams, school trips, scouts. Everyone was smiling, respectful, excited – it all made for a great stadium atmosphere.
Thirdly, the football was excellent. I would challenge anyone who moans about women’s football not being as good as men’s. It’s the same game, but different. The women played together superbly as a team, demonstrated plenty of silky skills, were full of energy, enthusiasm and showed great strength (no diving and writhing in agony after a tiny tap!). It all made for very entertaining football. Their focus on attacking and high goal scoring created excitement and atmosphere across the stadium.
I have been to many men’s football games across non-league, Leagues 1 and 2, the Championship, the Premiership, Euros and World Cup – and I have sat through some quite boring, uneventful games where entitled players seem like they are making little effort. So I would challenge anyone to dismiss their preconceptions of the women’s game and go to a live match – I’m confident they’ll really enjoy it.
It’s heartening to see new records being set (not just in goal scoring). The opening event set a new attendance record with 68,871 fans at Old Trafford to watch England beat Austria 1-0. In addition, 3.7m watched on BBC 1 with 750k streams on iPlayer. Over 500,000 tickets have now been sold for the tournament, smashing the 240k record attendance for the 2017 Euros in the Netherlands.
I’d also like to congratulate the BBC on their coverage of the tournament (television, radio, online, social media). Every England and Northern Ireland game is on BBC1, others on BBC2 and all on BBC iPlayer, 5 Live have commentary on selected game, and there’s a Daily Euros podcast.
So, no excuse not to support and enjoy women’s football this summer!
Most of all, I felt so emotional and proud of every single player. They have all worked so hard to break down the barriers and trailblaze the way. What fantastic role models for current and future generations of women and men.