Women’s football is a global village: recent news about women’s football around the world
Whoever thought we would not experience great emotions in women’s football in 2017 was wrong.
We started the year with the announcements of big name player transfers, creations of new leagues and the strengthening of others, as well as the promise of great friendly matches at both club and international level.
Who, like me, can not wait for the matches of the UWCL, NWSL, Frauen Bundesliga, Dammalsvenskan, The FA WSL, D1 Féminine, Algarve Cup, 2017 SheBelieves Cup and for all other leagues and tournaments matches around the world? Raise your hand!
Women’s football has become increasingly global. The United States is no longer alone at the top, more and more nations are increasing the investments in women’s football and others that neither had a women’s football history, begin to develop their first female leagues. The women’s football world is becoming a global village. Of course it has much to do yet.
Speaking about women’s football and women’s sport in general, is not just talking about the game, to win titles, commercial issues, or the physical and athletic part, but also about culture, education, gender equality, women’s empowerment, and also about connecting people. For this reason it is so important to see other countries investing in this modality.
So, I’m going to write about the facts that caught my eye recently in the world of women’s football! I know that I will not discuss several leagues that were also worth highlighting, unfortunately there are still some barriers, mainly language for me (unfortunately I can’t read Japanese, Russian, etc), to get information about some leagues. So I ask for your cooperation to also share the news about women’s football of your country.
— El Femenino (@FemeninoAFA) 1 de fevereiro de 2017
The South American football Confederation (CONMEBOL) is aiming to encourage the development of women’s football in South America and has determined that clubs that want to participate in the men’s Libertadores Cup from 2019 edition will have to maintain a women’s team.
Under the regulations, clubs will need to maintain a professional women’s football team playing in official competitions. In addition, they should also maintain at least one category of female amateur players under the age of 18, giving for those an infrastructure as field for matches and training.
After the recent successes of Venezuelan Women’s National team in youth major tournaments, the South America country will have, for the first time in its history, a professional women’s football league (Superliga Femenina de Futbol).
Since 2016, Venezuela had an amateur women’s football league but contracts for the players were not mandatory. Now, with the creation of the Superliga Femenina de Futbol, the players will have wages, insurance and greater protection to develop their sports career.
The measure was promoted in the Venezuelan football Federation because the South American Confederation of football(CONMEBOL) reported that it was mandatory that countries aiming to participate in FIFA Women’s Tournaments should have a women’s football professional league and comply with the international standards of professional football.
— Fútbol Femenino (@CONMEBOLFF) 20 de fevereiro de 2017
On this month was made the official launch of the first Colombian women’s professional football league (La Liga Profesional Femenina) that will count with 18 teams, in which the champion team will have a spot in the 2018 Women’s Libertadores Cup. In addition, the winning club will have the opportunity to play a match against the Spanish League champion, and a scholarship to study at the Sergio Arboleda University.
In this first edition, three groups of six teams will be played, geographically organised, in which they will classify to quarterfinals the two best ones of each group and the two best third parties. Subsequently, they will play semi-finals and the final.
The Brazilian Women’s Championship will be subject to innovations in 2017 edition. The main one was the creation of another division. The competition will be divided into divisions A1 and A2, with 16 clubs each. The two worst teams placed in the division A1 in 2017 will be relegated to the 2nd division (A2) in 2018 and the two finalists of the A2 in 2017 will play the 1st division (A1) in 2018.
In the 1st division, there will be two groups of eight clubs each, with home and away matches. The four best placed teams of each group will advance to the quarterfinals. In this phase, will be played round-trip matches, as well as in the semifinal and final. Therefore, the teams that arrive at the decision will have played 20 matches during the tournament. The teams eliminated in the first round will have played 14 matches.
In the 2nd division, the formula will feel different. There will be two groups of eight clubs each, with a single shift. The two best placed teams from each group arrive in the semifinals. In this stage and in the end, there will be round-trip confrontations. Thus, teams that reach the final will have played 11 matches, while those eliminated in the first phase will have played seven matches.
Other news is that Brazilian football Confederation, in concordance with clubs regulation of Conmebol, determined that, from 2019, the Brazilian football clubs which do not have a female team playing national competitions will be forbidden to play in the Copa Libertadores.
— Ellas en el Deporte (@EllasDeporte) 17 de fevereiro de 2017
Aiming to develop women’s football in the country, the Mexican football Federation had initiative to create a women’s football league which will depend on the male first division clubs. The first Mexican women’s football league will be in the U23 category and it will start in September 2017 and will end in December, just like the men’s league.
The teams will be composed of at least 21 players under 23 years old, with four of them with the maximum age of 17 years old and being that only two players may be of free category of age. Since 2015, Mexican Federation supports an amateur women’s national league that is attended by 240 teams with 4,500 girls in two youth categories, under 16 and under 13.
#CWSL | Dalian Quanjian have completed the signing of both Asisat Oshoala (nigerian) and Gaëlle Enganamouit (cameroonian). pic.twitter.com/WmJcID5wdg
— China Women’s Team (@ChinaWFT) 10 de fevereiro de 2017
The Chinese Women’s Super League was launched in 2015. Since then the clubs are not saving efforts in developing the league. With the limit of 3 foreign players per team, the clubs are investing heavily to hire big names from European leagues. Stars players as Nigerian Asisat Oshoala, Norwegian Isabell Herlovsen and Cameroon Gaëlle Enganamouit are going to play in Chinese clubs this season. Also Brazilian forward Cristiane will join a Chinese club and is set to become the highest paid female football player in the world, second Chinese media reported.
— The FA WSL (@FAWSL) 15 de fevereiro de 2017
After the issues with the United States football Federation aiming equal wages conditions and the failure in Olympic Games, European leagues became very attractive possibilities for American players who wanted the experience of playing abroad and to dispute major tournaments such as the UWCL. Even more attractive became the FA WSL, due to the language and common history. The FA WSL has been increasing the investment in women’s football in the past years and made big hires this season. In addition to having re-signed the Scotland Midfielder and one of the best NWSL players of all time, Kim Little, in a long-term contract, the team also hired the American midfielder Heather O’reilly. Chelsea Ladies also made big hires, besides having hired the Swiss forward Ramona Bachmann from the VfL Wolfsburg, the team also hired Crystal Dunn from Washington Spirit. The great hiring of this season for sure was made by Manchester City who signed Carli Lloyd, two-times world player of the year, on a short-term deal from Houston Dash.
Portugal, Spain and Italy
— Sporting CP FutFem (@FutFemSCP) 22 de fevereiro de 2017
In recent years, there has been an effort from Portugal, Spain and Italy, to develop women’s football. Although women’s football in these countries is not yet at the level of other European countries as Germany, England and Sweden, we see the growth of women’s football leagues of these countries. Some great teams have invested heavily in women’s football, as in the case of Barcelona, Athletic Madrid and Valencia in Spain. The great abstention is Real Madrid, unlike all the great teams in Europe, which has been investing in women’s football, such as Bayer Munich, Barcelona, Manchester City, for example, has not yet created a women’s football team. In Portugal, we have the highlight of Sporting and SC Braga, the two top teams of the Allianz Women’s football League edition 2016-2017. And in Italy we have the highlight of Fiorentina Women, the Brescia Calcio Feminino and the Agsm Verona Cf , the three top teams of the first division of Calcio Femminile Italiano.
Thanks for reading and I would love to know more about another leagues around the globe, so write your message below and share this post if you like it!
To sum up, as I wrote above that women’s football in my opinion is also a global village that connects people (and builds friendships), so I would like to send a hello and a thank you to my friends, that have travelled to meet me personally in my recent travel to Europe. Thanks and until the next adventure!
Women’s football enthusiast based in Brazil. Supporting and raising the profile of the women’s game.