By: Alejandra Zacapala Martinez
We can all admit the soccer industry has been changing a lot in the past few years. In 1920, two women’s soccer teams played each other in front of 53,000 people in Liverpool, England. Unfortunately, not all women around the world can enter a soccer field, because they will be discriminated against, harrassed, and received death threats.
Legend has it that the 1920 game in Liverpool, England was the very first official soccer game 2 women team played, but it had a very terrible outcome. The Women’s League in the United Kingdom (the English Football Association) was threatened by the size of women soccer, so they banned women playing soccer on the same fields as men. In 1930, a miracle for women soccer came, France and Italy created soccer leagues. After World War II, countries all around Europe started women’s league. In 1971, the ban was lifted and women in England could play with men. A year later after the ban was lifted, women soccer in America became more popular because of Title IX (Title IX was required to equal fund both men’s and women’s sport in college).
The First Women World Cup
The very first Women’s World Cup was held in China on November 16-30, 1991. Dr. Hao Joao Havelange (was the president of Fédération Internationale de Football Association or FIFA during this time) and he was the person who started the Women’s World Cup and because of this, the USA made a name for itself in the women’s soccer industry. The U.S. Women team became the winners of the first Women’s World Cup in 1991 once Michelle Akers scored the 2nd winning goal against Norway. They came out of Group B after they beat Sweden, Brazil, and Japan (11-2). Michelle Akers scored 5 goals in the quarterfinals as they beat Chinese Taipei (7-0). In the semifinals, Jennings hat trick helped U.S. beat Germany (5-2).
Shebelieves Cup was developed by the U.S. Women’s National Team members. SheBelieves is meant to inspire girls and young women and encourage them to accomplish all their goals and dreams (related to sports or not). It was originally launched in the run-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup but, it has evolved and built an amazing bond with the team and its fans. It achieved their goal of spreading their message of empowerment and believing in yourself into communities across the nation.
Women Soccer has taken such a big step into society these past few years, it’s becoming more popular among soccer fans. This new era in the soccer industry has yet to prove what they’re capable of and what they can achieve.