1991 FIFA Women's World Cup
The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup, the world championship for women's national association football teams. It took place in Guangdong, China from 16 to 30 November 1991. FIFA, football's international governing body selected China as host nation as Guangdong had hosted a prototype world championship three years earlier, the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament. Matches were played in the state capital, Guangzhou, as well as in Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan. The competition was sponsored by Mars, Incorporated. With FIFA still reluctant to bestow their "World Cup" brand, the tournament was officially known as the 1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup.
|1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&Ms Cup|
|Teams||12 (from 6 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||6 (in 4 host cities)|
|Champions||United States (1st title)|
|Goals scored||99 (3.81 per match)|
|Attendance||510,000 (19,615 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Michelle Akers |
|Best player(s)||Carin Jennings|
|Fair play award||Germany|
It was won by the United States, whose captain April Heinrichs formed a forward line dubbed the "triple–edged sword" with Carin Jennings and Michelle Akers-Stahl. Jennings was named player of the tournament while Akers-Stahl's ten goals won the Golden Shoe. The United States defeated Norway 2–1 in the final in front of a crowd of 65,000 people at Guangzhou's Tianhe Stadium. Total attendance for the tournament was 510,000, an average per match of 19,615. In the opening match at the same stadium, Norway was defeated 4–0 by hosts China. Chinese defender Ma Li scored the first goal in Women's World Cup history, while goalkeeper Zhong Honglian, also of China, posted the first official "clean sheet" in the tournament.
The 12 qualified teams were divided into three groups of four (A to C). The top two teams and the two best third-place finishers from the three groups advanced to the knockout round of eight teams.
|Yuexiu, Guangzhou||Tianhe, Guangzhou||Panyu, Guangzhou|
|Guangdong Provincial Stadium||Tianhe Stadium||Ying Tung Stadium|
|Capacity: 25,000||Capacity: 60,000||Capacity: 15,000|
|New Plaza Stadium||Jiangmen Stadium||Zhongshan Stadium|
|Capacity: 14,000||Capacity: 13,000||Capacity: 12,000|
Twelve teams qualified for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup final tournament. Each of the six FIFA confederations had at least one representative.
For a list of the squads that contended for the final tournament, see 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup squads.
For the first time in FIFA competition, six female officials were included. All functioned as assistant referees, except for Cláudia Vasconcelos who took charge of the third place play–off; becoming the first woman to referee a match sanctioned by FIFA.
FIFA's technical report demonstrates that, after the tournament, players and officials were undecided whether to persist with 80 minute matches, or to change to 90 minutes in line with men's football. Opinion was also divided about the suitability of using a size five football. Some teams reported difficulty in sourcing good quality equipment in the correct size.
|“||As president of FIFA it was a special pleasure for me to watch these young ladies playing with such flair and such elegance, and according to the reports of the many media representatives present, making the game truly into a celebration ... women's football is now well and truly established.||”|
The perceived success of the tournament was a significant factor in the subsequent inclusion of women's football in the 1996 Summer Olympics. Sue Lopez reported that although attendances were very high, many tickets were complimentary. The "novelty factor" of women from foreign lands playing football also encouraged local people to attend.
|1||China PR (H)||3||2||1||0||10||3||7||5|
Liu 45', 50'
Sun Q. 75'
|Jensen 15', 40'
|Campbell 30' (o.g.)
Medalen 32', 38'
|Sun W. 37'
|China PR||4–1||New Zealand|
Liu 22', 60'
|Svensson 14' (pen.)
|(Report)||Thychosen 54' (pen.)|
I. Johansson 71'
|(Report)||Jennings 40', 49'
|(Report)||Videkull 1', 11'
Andelen 15', 60'
Yamaguchi 70' (o.g.)
|(Report)||Heinrichs 23', 35'
|(Report)||Akers-Stahl 20', 37'
|(Report)||Sundhage 42' (pen.)
Mohr 32', 34'
Morace 37', 52', 66'
|(Report)||Wiegmann 10' (pen.)
Mohr 21', 50'
Ranking of third-placed teamsEdit
|24 November — Foshan|
|27 November — Guangzhou|
|24 November — Zhongshan|
|30 November — Guangzhou|
|24 November — Guangzhou|
|27 November — Panyu|
|24 November — Jiangmen|
|29 November — Guangzhou|
|Wiegmann 17' (pen.)
|(Report)||MacKensie 25' (pen.)|
Svensson 96' (pen.)
|United States||7–0||Chinese Taipei|
|Akers-Stahl 8', 29', 33', 44' (pen.), 48'
|Videkull 6'||(Report)||Svensson 39' (pen.)
Medalen 41', 77'
|Jennings 10', 22', 33'
Heinrichs 54', 75'
Third place play-offEdit
The following awards were given for the tournament:
|Golden Ball||Silver Ball||Bronze Ball|
|Carin Jennings||Michelle Akers||Linda Medalen|
|Golden Shoe||Silver Shoe||Bronze Shoe|
|Michelle Akers||Heidi Mohr|| Linda Medalen|
|10 goals||7 goals||6 goals|
|FIFA Fair Play Award|
Michelle Akers-Stahl of the United States won the Golden Shoe award for scoring ten goals. In total, 99 goals were scored from 45 different players with two of them credited as own goals.
|Goalscorers sorted by number of goals (high-low) and team (alphabetically)|
- Mattei, Al. "WUSA opening a feast for the eyes – and ears". TopOfTheCircle.com. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
- Ciapala, Derek (18 June 2012). "History of the FIFA Women's World Cup, 1991–present – World Soccer – Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "CNN/SI – Women's World Cup – Women's World Cup History – Thursday February 11, 1999 06:04 PM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Basler, Barbara (1 December 1991). "U.S. Women Beat Norway To Capture World Cup". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- Lopez 1997, p. 195
- "FIFA Women's World Cup – China PR 1991". FIFA. Archived from the original on 11 March 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
In keeping with the true spirit of the celebration, six female referees or assistant referees were appointed among match officials for the first time in FIFA history. Claudia de Vasconcelos of Brazil, the referee for the 3rd-place match, became the first woman to officiate at this level for FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup China '91 – Technical Report & Statistics" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Lopez 1997, p. 173
- Lopez 1997, p. 175
- Lopez 1997, p. 207
- Awards 1991