Author Topic: Women's game a skilled affair  (Read 1169 times)

Offline David

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Women's game a skilled affair
« on: October 01, 2007, 07:31:33 PM »
SUBLIME individual talent and entertaining matches drawing big crowds - women's football has come a long way from the last World Cup four years ago in the United States.

While they are never going to rival the likes of David Beckham, Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry, the world's best women footballers proved over the past three weeks that the game has taken giant steps.

With crowds averaging 38,000, the World Cup in China was a big success, so much so that the China Football Association is now mulling a bid to host the 2018 men's tournament.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was suitably impressed by what he saw after Germany beat Brazil 2-0 in the final on Sunday.

"Generally speaking, it is a big improvement by all the teams from four years ago in the United States," Blatter said.

"There has been an improvement in the speed of the games. Also, importantly, though not by all the teams, there has been an improvement in tactics.

"All in all, compared to 2003, women's football has moved to a new level."

The way forward now, he added, was the development of more women's professional leagues with many of those who competed in China not earning a living from the game.

"It is clear that women at this level are now able to deal with principles of good professional football. The only thing we are missing is professional leagues," Blatter said.

Recently retired Sun Wen of China, joint-Women's Player of the Century, agreed: "Having taken part in the previous four World Cups, I'm happy to see how football has grown in popularity worldwide.

"The teams have made some terrific progress. In 1991 (at the inaugural World Cup) a small group of sides dominated all the others. But now, 16 years on, things have changed. All the participating sides have shown themselves to be more competitive."

The championships produced 111 goals, some edge-of-the-seat thrillers and just two red cards.

While Africa's representatives - Nigeria and Ghana - failed to get beyond the group stages, Asian teams continued making progress with China, North Korea and Australia all getting to the quarter-finals. Japan missed out.

South American champions Argentina were the biggest disappointment, with Germany beating them by a record 11-0 in the opening game of the tournament. The biggest surprise was Brazil, who made the final for the first time and won an army of fans in China with their silky skills, epitomised by 2006 World Player of the Year Marta.

With no men's World Cup or youth World Cup next year, the women's game has the chance to keep itself in the spotlight and build on the momentum.

Aside from the Olympics, which for the first time features 12 women's teams, an inaugural under-17 World Cup will be held in New Zealand while the under-20 equivalent takes place in Chile.

"So you will see in the different continents women's football at its best next year," Blatter said.

"There is no World Cup or Youth World Cup competition for the men next year, so it will be FIFA's year for women's football."

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22514224-5006068,00.html

Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: Women's game a skilled affair
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 08:06:44 PM »
Quote
Also, importantly, though not by all the teams, there has been an improvement in tactics.

Mmmmm.... I wonder who they mean here...ha.


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