UEFA has published its report of the positive impact and future legacy of Women’s Euro 2022, with one of the key findings that almost everyone who attended a game at the tournament left with an improved perception of women’s football and keen to go to a game again in future.
The total cumulative tournament at Euro 2022 surpassed 570,000 by the time the final was played at a sold-out Wembley Stadium. That figure included just over 110,000 spectators who travelled to England from 104 countries around the world.
Various existing UEFA Women’s Euros attendances records were smashed, while 87,192 people at the final was the largest ever attendance for a European Championship match – men’s or women’s, surpassing a mark that had stood for 58 years since the men’s final of 1964.
On UK television alone, a peak audience of 17.4m watched the final on BBC One, accounting for 80% of all TV viewers in the country during extra-time.
In terms of overall reach, UEFA estimates that the whole tournament was watched by a cumulative live global audience of 356 million in 195 territories, with 453 million cumulative social media interactions taking the women’s game to new levels worldwide.
Independent surveys have revealed that 84% of spectators said Euro 2022 has improved their perception of women’s football, 85% of spectators likely to attend professional international and domestic women’s football events again in the future, and 88% likely to at least watch on TV.
But Euro 2022 had also made its mark beyond just the 31 games that were played. One of the key legacy hopes for the tournament was to inspire a new generation to get involved in football at any level in any capacity. As such, 416,000 new opportunities have been created in England in schools, clubs, and the community to engage women and girls in grassroots legacy football activities across the host cities, whether it be playing, coaching, officiating or volunteering.
More than half of local residents and around 2 in 5 volunteers have been inspired to do more sport and physical activity generally by what they witnessed in the summer.
There has also been a positive social and economic impact from Euro 2022, whereby 74% of local residents in host cities feel their community has been brought closer together and 84% of participants in legacy activities report improved confidence and self-esteem. The host cities also saw an £81m boost because of the tournament, with £44m specifically spent around matchdays and trips.
“Our aim for this tournament was twofold: to deliver a record-breaking tournament and to leave a tangible legacy to grow the women’s game,” said Baroness Sue Campbell, FA director of women’s football.
“Our work certainly does not stop here, we will continue to use this tournament to inspire positive change, not only in our host cities, but across the country.”
Those sentiments were also echoed by UEFA chief of women’s football Nadine Kessler, who declared: “We must now capitalise on these successes to continue advancing our game for girls and women, to secure further commitments to women’s football as well as to showcase the benefits of hosting this tournament as the bidding process for UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 is underway.”
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UK & Ireland confirm stadiums for Euro 2028 bid
The FA have confirmed that the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland have submitted a ‘preliminary bid dossier’ in their campaign to host Euro 2028, with 14 stadiums nominated to host matches.
The five nations have long been touted to make a bid for a major tournament, with the 2030 World Cup first suggested.
Instead, they are making a run to host Euro 2028 instead, with an official statement confirming the bid released on Wednesday.
“The UK & Ireland Bid to host UEFA EURO 2028 has today submitted our Preliminary Bid Dossier – a key moment in UEFA’s campaign process,” the statement read.
“The bid sets out our clear and compelling vision for UEFA EURO 2028: ‘Football for all. Football for good. Football for the future’.
“Key to this vision is a commitment to diversity, social purpose and innovation in delivering an outstanding UEFA EURO 2028 that will create unforgettable memories in sold-out, iconic stadia in famous football cities known throughout the world.
“We are delighted that Government Partners of the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and officials in Northern Ireland, support this bid.
“Together, we believe we can deliver a world-class tournament, and that hosting UEFA EURO 2028 will achieve a strong and sustainable legacy for football and wider society, helping to drive economic growth in local communities.
“Working with UEFA, our plan is to host a tournament that will be a catalyst for transformational grassroots football development – with a promise to share legacy initiatives with European National Associations to accelerate growth across the continent.
“The UK and Ireland’s track record of hosting successful major sporting events over many decades means we have the expertise and experience to take this world-class tournament to new heights.
“Our compact plan and pioneering, multi-partner collaboration can usher in a new era for the EURO. Through the latest digital and marketing innovations, we will help UEFA and its partners engage new audiences and the world’s youth to extend the impact and reach of the tournament further than ever before.”
14 stadiums have been included in the bid, with the majority of them coming from England.
Of England’s nine nominated stadiums, three of them are in London – Wembley Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and London Stadium. Villa Park, Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium, St James’ Park, Stadium of Light and Everton’s new stadium are also part of the bid.
Two Irish stadiums – Aviva Stadium and Croke Park – feature in the bid, as does Casement Park Stadium in Northern Ireland.
Scotland’s Hampden Park and Wales’ Principality Stadium complete the bid.
Euro 2024 qualification draw: England get Italy again; Spain face Scotland
The UEFA Nations League has barely just ended and the FIFA World Cup hasn’t even kicked off yet, but preparations for Euro 2024 are underway.
The draw for qualification took place earlier on Sunday at a ceremony in Frankfurt, with Europe’s nations finding out who will stand between them and a spot in the finals in Germany.
England will take on Italy once again in the standout news from the draw. They will be joined in Group C by Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta.
Elsewhere, Scotland’s road to the European Championships will see them take on Spain and Erling Haaland’s Norway as well as Georgia and Cyprus.
The Republic of Ireland have been handed a group of death alongside the Netherlands and France, while Wales will be relieved not to have been drawn alongside Belgium again.
Here’s the draw in full.
Euro 2024 qualification draw
Group A: Spain, Scotland, Norway, Georgia, Cyprus
Group B: Netherlands, France, Republic of Ireland, Greece, Gibraltar
Group C: Italy, England, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Malta
Group D: Croatia, Wales, Armenia, Turkey, Latvia
Group E: Poland, Czech Republic, Albania, Faroe Islands, Moldova
Group F: Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Estonia
Group G: Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Lithuania
Group H: Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland, San Marino
Group I: Switzerland, Israel, Romania, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Andorra
Group J: Portugal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Kosovo, Slovakia, Liechtenstein
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