Soccer ... Football, no matter what you call it, it’s the most popular sport played on this planet earth.
The International Federation of Association Football (aka Fédération Internationale de Football Association) commonly referred to as FIFA, hopes that the sixth edition of the Women’s World Cup currently going on in Germany, will continue to boost the popularity of women playing the sport somewhere, anywhere, close to the men’s version. Contested every four years, the first Women's World Cup tournament, named the Women's World Championship, was held in 1991 (with 12 teams), 61 years after the men's first FIFA World Cup tournament in 1930. The women’s tournament currently consists of 16 teams that compete over a course of four weeks, where the men’s tourney has 32 teams at the start line.
Despite Team Canada’s current standings in the 2011 tournament, and knowing that they didn’t play to their full potential to get them out of their Group, they did have that momentous opener against Germany in front of the sold-out hometown crowd of close to 74,000. Still say women’s football isn’t popular? And what about the true grit and determination of Canadian striker Christine Sinclair who had her nose broken only to come out and score Canada’s only goal of that game on a free kick, making her the first woman to score against Germany (the two-time defending champions) at a World Cup for almost 900 minutes of play?
In Canada, there was a surge in youth participation for girls throughout the 1980s, and by 1995 Canada had qualified for the Women’s World Cup tournament. Great sporting opportunities for youth continues to show that with these opportunities comes advancement, especially in the area of women’s sport. But it takes time. With Canada hosting the 2015 Women’s World Cup, just imagine what this event will do for women’s football participation in Canada.
For more information on soccer contact SIRC!
Canadian Soccer Association