Previewing UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, UEFA Direct compares the high-profile event about to kick off in England with a final tournament that broke new ground itself 25 years ago.
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UEFA’s official magazine remembers how UEFA made important changes to the 1997 European Women’s Championship final tournament, increasing the number of participating teams to eight and introducing a group stage.
At a moment when ticket sales for Women’s EURO 2022 have just hit the record-breaking 500,000 mark, the article also recalls that the 1997 finals in Norway and Sweden were played in front of crowds averaging 2,382.
“At the time,” UEFA Direct comments, “anyone predicting that the 2022 edition would feature 16 teams, 31 matches and video assistant referees would have been accused of reading too much science fiction.”
“Similarly players would have rolled their eyes in disbelief at the suggestion that UEFA would be sharing €16 million among the participating teams.”
“Nor would they have believed,” the piece continues, “that €4.5 million would be set aside to compensate clubs for releasing players.”
“Hindsight puts things into perspective,” UEFA Direct concludes. “The silver anniversary of a milestone moment in the history of women’s football in Europe is an appropriate time to reflect on the unstoppable development of the women’s game.”
In its Women’s EURO preview, UEFA Direct covers the tournament from a variety of angles:
• The prospects of the 16 participating teams
• UEFA’s long-term vision for European women’s football
• How the Women’s EURO will aim to increase participation levels among women and girls and attract growing interest in the women’s game
• The impact of social campaigns and grassroots initiatives around the tournament
“By setting benchmarks for organising women’s sporting events,” the article concludes, “both The [English Football Association] and UEFA hope that EURO 2022 can leave a lasting legacy for society as well as the game.”