FA to bid to host Women’s Euro 2021

The Football Association has announced plans to host the 2021 UEFA European Women’s Championship.

England’s women reached the semi-finals of Euro 2017 before losing to hosts and eventual winners Holland last week and the FA will officially enter into the bidding process later this year to stage the 2021 tournament.

FA chief executive officer Martin Glenn said: “The Lionesses’ performances at the Euros this summer gave the country great pride.

“It also showed the significant impact that hosting a major European tournament can have on growing and developing women’s football. The KNVB (Dutch FA) and UEFA really raised the bar, hosting a fantastic tournament, and we hope and believe we could meet those standards.”

England manager Mark Sampson
Manager Mark Sampson led England Women to the semi-finals of Euro 2017 (Mike Egerton/PA)

The FA is keen to match UEFA’s ambitions for women’s football and in March this year launched its ‘Gameplan for Growth’, which “aims to double participation and create a successful high-performance system for women and girls football”.

Part of the FA’s strategy includes a bid to host a major international women’s tournament with a showpiece final at Wembley.

England’s 3-0 defeat to Holland, screened on Channel 4, generated a peak UK audience of four million viewers, while the tournament was UEFA’s biggest-ever female event.

England's Stephanie Houghton
England’s Stephanie Houghton after the final whistle during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 match at the De Grolsch Veste (Mike Egerton/PA)

An England fan shows her support in Enschede
An England fan shows her support in Enschede (Mike Egerton/PA)

Glenn added: “UEFA share our ambitions to grow the women’s game and we believe that together we can host a tournament that would celebrate women’s football as well as inspiring the next generation and creating lasting opportunities for all.”

The Government has pledged its support for the FA’s intended bid and will also take a keen interest in the project.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: “The Lionesses had a great campaign in the Netherlands and made the country proud. The support the team received was phenomenal and the success of the tournament has taken women’s football to new heights.

“Hosting the next European Championships would provide us with a great opportunity to further grow the game and attract the next generation of players and fans. I look forward to working with the FA as they develop the feasibility of their bid.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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