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1971 Women's World Cup

The 1971 Women's World Cup (Spanish: 1971 Campeonato de Fútbol Femenil) was a non-FIFA-sanctioned association football tournament for women which took place in Mexico in August and September 1971. Denmark won the tournament.

Campeonato de Fútbol Femenil
Tournament information
SportAssociation football
Host(s)Flag of Mexico.svg Mexico
Final positions
ChampionsFlag of Denmark.svg Denmark
Runner-upFlag of Mexico.svg Mexico
Tournament statistics
Matches played11
Goals scored39 (3.55 per match)


The first unofficial Women's World Cup took place in Italy in 1970, also won by Denmark.[1]


The six-team tournament featured three different qualifying groups, two in Europe played in April and June 1971, and one in the Americas.[2] Six teams made the final tournament – Mexico, Argentina, England, Denmark, France, and Italy.[2] Four teams were knocked out in qualifying – Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Costa Rica.

One of the qualifiers was the first officially recognised women's international match. France beat the Netherlands 4-0 in Hazebrouck to qualify for the tournament in front of 1,500 spectators. However, the match was only recognised after it was completed, and the French players did not know they had qualified for the tournament until their coach told them after the game.[3]


Tournament sponsors Martini & Rossi paid for each team's travel, accommodation, and kits.[4] Goalposts were painted in pink hoops and stadium staff wore pink clothes, in order to try to appeal to women and families.[4] Ticket prices ranged from 30 pesos (£1.15) to 80 pesos (£3).[4] The tournament mascot was Xochitl, "a young girl in [a] football kit".[4]

An estimated 80,000 people attended the Mexico group games against England and Argentina, and an estimated 110,000 attended the final, between Mexico and Denmark.[4][5]

The hosts Mexico qualified for the final after defeating Italy in the semifinals. Two days before the final, the Mexican press noted the players for Mexico were unhappy they had not been receiving economic support for participating in the tournament. The Mexican team threatened to skip the final but gave up their two million peso demand and the game went forward as scheduled.[5]

Denmark won the tournament after beating Mexico 3–0 in the final, featuring a hat trick by 15-year-old Susanne Augustesen.[2] The victorious Danish team were treated to a celebratory reception at Copenhagen Town Hall upon their return from the tournament.[6] However, due to the unofficial nature of the tournament, it is not recognised by the Danish Football Association.[6]


England's team included 13-year-old Leah Caleb, 14-year-old Gill Sayell, and 15-year-old Chris Lockwood,[4][7] while 15-year-old Susanne Augustesen scored a hat-trick for Denmark as they beat Mexico 3–0 in the final.[2] Augustesen was honoured by the mayor of her hometown, Holbæk.[6]

12 member of England's 14-woman squad reunited in June 2019 for the first time since the tournament.[8]

Group stageEdit

Group 1Edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA Pts
1   Mexico 2 2 0 0 7 1 4
2   Argentina 2 1 0 1 5 4 2
3   England 2 0 0 2 1 8 0
Mexico  3–1  Argentina
Rubio   21'54'
Hernandez   30'
Cardoso   34'
Argentina  4–1  England
Elva Selva   7'31'34' (pen.)71' Burton   13'
Mexico  4–0  England
Aguilar (2)

Group 2Edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA Pts
1   Denmark 2 1 1 0 4 1 3
2   Italy 2 1 1 0 2 1 3
3   France 2 0 0 2 0 4 0
Denmark  3–0  France
Augustesen   7'
Nielsen   32'67'
France  0–1  Italy
Schiavo   23'
Denmark  1–1  Italy
H. Hansen   10' Avon   43'

Knockout stageEdit


28 August — Mexico City
  Denmark 5
5 September — Mexico City
  Argentina 0
  Denmark 3
29 August — Mexico City
  Mexico 0
  Mexico 2
  Italy 1
Third place
4 September — Guadalajara
  Italy 4
  Argentina 0


Denmark  5–0  Argentina
L. Nielsen   34'50'68'
H. Hansen   53'
Frederiksen   64'

Mexico  2–1  Italy
Hernandez   10'24' Varone   6'

Fifth place play-offEdit

A match for fifth place was played between the two teams which did not advance to the semifinals.

England  2–3  France
Janice Barton   10'16' Armelle Binard   12'
Jocelyne Henry   22'
Ghislaine Royer   32'

Third place play-offEdit

Italy  4–0  Argentina
Betty Vignotto   4'32'67'
Elena Schiavo   63'


Denmark  3–0  Mexico
Susanne Augustesen   26'52'62'

Later tournamentsEdit

The tournament was succeeded by "the series of Mundialito tournaments throughout the 1980s in Italy, and FIFA's Women's Invitation Tournament in China in 1988" before the first official Women's World Cup in China in 1991.[1]


  1. ^ a b Anna Kessel (4 June 2015). "Women's World Cup: from unofficial tournaments to record-breaking event". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Mundial (Women) 1971". RSSSF. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  3. ^ "First ladies pave the way". 8 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Bill Wilson (7 December 2018). "Mexico 1971: When women's football hit the big time". BBC News. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b "El mundial femenil que México olvidó". El Universal. 8 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Nikoline Vestergaard (10 September 2007). "Verdensmester som 15-årig" (in Danish). BT. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. ^ "The lost lionesses". BBC Sport.
  8. ^ "Women's World Cup: 1971 'lost lionesses' squad tracked down after 48 years". 26 June 2019 – via