What is the state of women's football in Europe? A newly-published report offers a snapshot of the sport in each of UEFA's 55 member associations.
The 'Women's football across the national associations 2016/17' report shows how the female game has evolved over the past five years, and offers a snapshot of the sport in each of UEFA's 55 member associations in 2016.
Women's football continues to grow in popularity, with more and more women and girls playing or getting involved. The increase in the numbers of registered female players, coaches and referees are all signs of steady progress – and UEFA is dedicated to growing these numbers further:
- Registered female players: 1.27+ million, a 6% rise since 2015/16
- Professional and semi-professional players: increased by 119% from 2012/13 to 2016/17, reaching 2,850+ players
- Countries with more than 100,000 players: England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden
- Qualified female coaches: 17,550+, a 31% rise since 2015/16
- Qualified match officials: 10,200, an upsurge of 17% since 2015/16
- Female youth teams: 34,000+, a 73% increase since 2012/13
- Live cumulative TV audience for UEFA Women's Champions League in 2016: 3.52 million people
- Global revenues in participating UEFA Women's Champions League markets: grown by over 92% from 2013 to 2016
Major international events such as the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games have certainly contributed to promoting the women's game, while the UEFA Women's EURO in the Netherlands next summer is looming on the horizon. Specially designated ambassadors are also becoming role models, inspiring new generations to participate.
Programmes aimed at boosting the grassroots, the number of female coaches, and communications around women's football are producing positive results too. For instance, in 34 national associations, girls' football is in the school curriculum. And in 20 of them, football is now the No1 female team sport.
The report's statistical review presents data collected from national associations in September 2016 via an annual survey, as well as data from the UEFA grassroots charter in June 2016.