Hands off women's football

The Women's Euro 2022 has served up some great action so far. On opening night, an incredibly organised and hard-working Austria held the mighty England to a single goal. We've seen Norway, Spain, and Germany each score four goals in their first match, with Spain playing some of the most technical football we've seen at the tournament so far, but also pressing incredibly effectively and making some really committed tackles. Yesterday saw the most evenly matched contests so far, with Switzerland going 2-0 up against Portugal in the first four minutes of the match, then Portugal marching back in the second half to finish 2-2, and Sweden drawing the Netherlands 1-1 in a match with lots of chances and lots of really good defending.

The fans have been incredible! The England-Austria opener was held at Old Trafford, and all 68,000 seats were filled, setting a new attendance record for the Women's Euros (the all time attendance record for women's football was set earlier this year, when 91,648 fans filled the Camp Nou as Barcelona beat Wolfsburg 5-1 in the Women's Champions League semi-final). The Netherlands-Sweden match last night was held in a much smaller stadium, but the stadium was packed with Dutch fans in orange and Swedish fans in yellow, and the atmosphere was fantastic. Twitter has been full of fans excitedly discussing the matches and supporting their teams on the #EURO2022 and #WEURO2022 hashtags.

Twitter post showing Dutch fans gathering in Devonshire Green, wearing orange shirts

And of course, Twitter being Twitter, there are also the inevitable men that have to post about how ridiculous women's football is and how it's nowhere near as good as the men's game, and make sexist jokes and generally make an ass of themselves.

Screenshot of tweet: Is kick off always delayed waiting for the ladies to get ready? Just another 5 mins!

Screenshot of tweet: I'm all for women's football. However, it's a bloody tough watch. I'm not even referring to the obvious fact the women's game is lacking in quality in comparison to the men's. The commentary & atmosphere just seems fake & forced. It's like a celebrity charity match.

Screenshot of tweet: It's seems strange & unequal when we all celebrate a women officiating at a men's soccer match, yet not a single male refereeing at @uefa
 European championships in the UK. Where is the equality, it's a two way

Hopefully it's obvious to everyone reading this that there is absolutely no need for this kind of bullshit. If you don't like women's football for whatever reason, you are very welcome to not watch it. But why do you want to go on the internet and shit on the people who are enjoying it? That's a rhetorical question, of course; I know the answer (hint hint: rhymes with "misogyny").

If you like women's football already, you're definitely already watching this tournament. If you like football but haven't seen any top-level women's football, this tournament is a great introduction to some of the world's best players, and has been delivering the goods so far. If you don't like women's football, there's plenty of other stuff on TV, so you can just watch that and spend zero time thinking about how unfair it is that women are playing football and people are enjoying watching.

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Published: 2022-07-10

Tagged: football euro2022