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Portal:Women's association football

Introduction

Women's association football, usually known as women's football or women's soccer, is the most prominent team sport played by women around the globe. It is played at the professional level in numerous countries throughout the world and 176 national teams participate internationally.

The history of women's football has seen major competitions being launched at both the national and international levels. Women's football has faced many struggles throughout its history. Although its first golden age occurred in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s, with matches attracting large crowds (one match achieved over 50,000 spectators), The Football Association initiated a ban in 1921 that disallowed women's football games from taking place on the grounds used by its member clubs. This ban remained in effect until July 1971.

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Qualifying countries

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 November 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.

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 beat Norway 2–1 in the final in front of a crowd of 65,000 people at Guangzhou's Tianhe Stadium. Total attendance was 510,000, an average per match of 19,615. In the opening match at the same stadium, Norway had been defeated 4–0 by hosts China. Goalkeeper Zhong Honglian, of China, posted the first official "clean sheet" in the tournament.

Selected biography

Lloyd celebrates at the 2012 Summer Olympics after scoring a goal

Carli Lloyd (born July 16, 1982) is an American professional soccer midfielder who currently plays for Western New York Flash in the National Women's Soccer League and the United States women's national soccer team. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and scored the gold medal-winning goals in the finals of both the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics. She has represented the United States at two FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments: first at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in which she helped the U.S. win bronze and at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in which the U.S. won silver. She has played in over 160 matches for the U.S. national team and scored over 45 goals.

Llloyd played professionally for the Chicago Red Stars, Sky Blue FC, and Atlanta Beat in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). She was allocated to the Western New York Flash for the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League in 2013 helping the team win the regular season championship.

Selected league

The Frauen-Bundesliga (English: Women Federal League) is the main league competition for women's football (soccer) in Germany. In 1990 the German Football Association (DFB) created the German Women's Bundesliga, based on the model of the men's Bundesliga. It was first played with north and south divisions, but in 1997 the groups were merged to form a uniform league. The league currently consists of twelve teams and the seasons usually last from late summer to the end of spring with a break in the winter.

In the UEFA Women's Champions League, the Frauen-Bundesliga is the most successful league with a total of seven titles from four clubs, with 1. FFC Frankfurt winning the most titles of any club.

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Kuwait women's national football team, 2012

Members of the Kuwait women's national football team line up prior to their friendly match against Qatar, 2012.

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Sydney Leroux in 2012

Rapinoe takes a corner kick in the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics


Selected national team

German national team in 2012

The Germany women's national football team (German: Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft der Frauen) represents Germany in international women's association football and is directed by the German Football Association (DFB). Initially called "West Germany" in informal English, the team played its first international match in 1982. After German reunification in 1990, the DFB squad remained the national team of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The German national team is one of the most successful in women's football. They are two-time world champions, having won the 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup. Germany is the only nation to have won both the men's and the women's World Cup. The team has won eight of the eleven UEFA European Championships, claiming the last six titles in a row. Germany has won three bronze medals at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, finishing third in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Birgit Prinz holds the record for most appearances and is the team's all-time leading goalscorer. Prinz has also set international records; she has received the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times and is the joint overall top goalscorer at the Women's World Cup.

Women's football was long met with skepticism in Germany, and official matches were banned by the DFB until 1970. But the women's national team has grown in popularity since winning the World Cup in 2003, when it was also chosen as Germany's Sports Team of the Year. Silvia Neid has been the team's head coach since 2005, succeeding Tina Theune after nine years as her assistant. As of September 2013, Germany is ranked No. 2 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings.

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