At the end of August, the English Football Association submitted their bid to host the Women’s European Championships in the summer of 2021. With the Lionesses reaching the semi-finals in last year’s competition and recently beating Wales in order to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, it only seems fitting that we get another chance at not only hosting a major tournament, but by getting over the line and winning in front of a hometown nation. Now that would be truly memorable and remarkable for players, staff and supporters alike.
Now, what seems to be very promising for English fans, but very alarming for not only women’s but football in general, is that we were the only nation to apply for hosting. No other country applied by the 3rd September deadline; so if the FA meets the strict guidelines that UEFA layout when they are deciding on a host, then it will be ours, as an executive committee only need to come to a decision rather than a vote.
So the alarming thing is, why did other nations not bid to host such a prestigious competition? It makes no sense. Finland and Sweden have hosted recently, with the Netherlands being not only last year winners but also entertainers, so that rules those three out. The failed bidders from 2017 included Austria, France, Poland, Scotland and Switzerland. France are hosting the World Cup in 2019, so they will be focusing on ensuring that is a successful tournament, but I’ve had a look over the guidelines on UEFA’s website and I cannot see anything that suggests you cannot apply for successive tournaments. In fairness, it makes sense for Scotland not to bid as they’ve only got a short journey down, but why didn’t they bid again? Where are Spain and Italy’s names in all this? I’ve checked the 2021 summer calendar, there are no major other sporting competitions getting in the way to stop all those countries hosting.
I suggested that it was a worrying subject for the game because we want to ensure that the sport is one for all, and to have no real backing from a vast amount of countries across Europe to support women’s football, especially on an international level, is a touch troubling. But I’m sure over the next few years, we will see a lot more which can only be a positive thing,
It baffles me that they haven’t, but in a sense I’m glad because it means we get to host all things well and good. It would be great to see a host of nations play at the very top level up and down the country. Without a doubt, the profile of women’s football in the UK will become greater, which can only be a positive thing, and the nation will rally behind our Lionesses to create a vibrant, supportive and competitive atmosphere.
The women’s World Cup will take place Summer 2019, with England and Scotland both competing. Then make sure you keep an eye out for the 3rd December, where England should be announced as the official hosts of the 2021 European Championships.