USAWorld News

England celebrate Euro 2022 win, hoping women will inspire new generation

LONDON — He’s finally come home.

But with England finally able to rejoice at having won a major football tournament, it was not the country’s big-name male stars who graced the front pages of newspapers, were greeted by massive crowds in the capital or led the nation in a delirious song.

Fans, players and coaches are now hoping that the victory for the women’s soccer team – and the unified moment it sparked – will not just be the end of decades of pain in their national sport, but a defining moment. for women’s football in the country and beyond. .

A record crowd of 87,000 fans and at least 17.4 million home fans watched as England beat Germany 2-1 in the European Championship final on Sunday.

Those who packed into London’s Wembley Stadium greeted the final whistle with a rendition of ‘Three Lions’, a much-loved pop song whose haunting chorus, ‘Football’s coming home’, has become the cornerstone of a national sporting culture that has until now been seen as almost entirely male.

Long ignored and underfunded compared to the all-conquering men’s game, with its multi-billion dollar TV deals and teams owned by oligarchs and sovereign wealth funds, women’s football is now attracting attention like never before.

Rachel Yankey, who was Britain’s first professional footballer and went on to become one of the most successful players of her era, told NBC News that England’s victory was a key moment.

“We need to normalize the game and value our female stars as much as our male stars – not just look at it like ‘Oh, this is just women’s football. “It’s football that is played by women,” she said.

“At this tournament, that’s what happened, more than any other,” she said.

Yankey, who played for England 129 times, shaved his head and called himself ‘Ray’ aged 8 in order to play in a boys’ team.

Today, only a third of girls aged 5 to 18 play football every week, and just 63% of schools in England offer girls the opportunity to play football during gym class, according to the Football Association, l governing body of the game.

“There’s still a lot to do, but yesterday’s visibility is the most important thing,” Yankey said.

England’s victory will also have a positive effect on the boys, she added: “It also educates our young boys that girls can have the same dreams as boys and do the same jobs. empowers our children to believe in who they want to be.” .”

Many fans noticed on social media that the powerful image of striker Chloe Kelly spinning her jersey above her head after scoring the winning goal on Sunday was a empowering moment reminiscent of Brandi Chastain’s celebration after winning the World Cup for the United States in 1999.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button