UEFA Women’s EURO is a major European football tournament held every four years. The first championship was held in 1984, and after several twists and turns, it became a significant event for women’s sports.
There have been twelve championships previously, with Norway and Italy the only teams participating in all twelve. Germany has been the most dominant team in the competition’s history, winning eight tournaments, and Norway is in second place, winning two.
The popularity of the competition has grown since 1984, and viewership and attendance have always been on the rise. UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 will be the biggest women’s sports event in Europe.
Anticipations are that attendance and viewership of the event will surpass other women’s tournaments. The opening game between Austria and England set a new attendance for a women’s EURO match when 68,871 people packed into Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester. The previous record for a match at a Women’s EURO was 41,301, set at the final in 2013 in Solna. The new record is again broken for the Wembley final on 31 July with 87,192 attendance.
This unprecedented interest reflects the journey women’s football has gone through to earn the reputation and recognition it well deserves.
It is the first time since 2005 that England is hosting a major women’s football tournament. The hope is that it will foment growth in women’s sports and leave a long-term legacy across the country, which includes inspiring future generations of fans and helping the engagement of all women and girls with football.
A century has passed since the English FA banned women’s football in 1921 because, in their view, it was unhealthy and “not fitted for females.” This did not stop women from playing the sport themselves and forming their own amateur leagues.
By the 1970s, the FA reconsidered its position and took official responsibility for the women’s competitions. Currently, women’s football enjoys a status that was once inconceivable. England’s women’s national team is now eighth in the FIFA ranking and has qualified for five world cups and nine European championships.
Paymán Investments has decided to take this event as an opportunity to emphasise women’s role in sports and the role sports play in women’s life. Football is a team sport, and as such, it teaches discipline, self-reliance, resilience, and teamwork.
Professional women footballers have defied the odds and social norms and hold an important place as teachers of these vital qualities. This year’s EURO is a helpful reminder of how much women’s sports are essential to society and what we can do to make gender equality a reality.
Paymán CIO, Dr Tahirih Danesh, is a human rights expert who has defended the rights of minorities, including women in football in MENA countries. She advocates the impact of community efforts, including team sports such as football, as a society-building process. “Football is an important element in unifying diverse populations. It is one of the most impactful and popular sports around the planet. From significant stadiums in super cities to small fields in post-crisis communities, it brings happiness and welfare to many,” she said.
While men’s football bares some negative impact on society, such as a rise in alcohol abuse and domestic violence, women’s football often involves the whole family and higher socioeconomic impact on our communities and culture.
Dr Danesh continued, “I’m grateful to UEFA for their role in promoting this important opportunity for our global community, especially at this time when the ‘us and them’ mentality, particularly against women, is making a comeback.
“Our company works hard to place women at the heart of socioeconomic impact, and it is with that spirit that I too support women in football and beyond.”
Now at the end of the tournament and with England’s victory, Payman Investments congratulates the lionesses for their historic win. In the words of the Queen, “It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff. The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise. However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations. It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
To learn more about Payman Investments and our focus on socioeconomic impact, including the role of women and the importance of providing opportunities for the younger generation, please see Our Impact – Paymán Investments.