England Lionesses just changed women’s sport forever with historic Euro 2022 victory
The UK is reeling after England’s Lionesses became Euro 2022 champions, bringing home the first major trophy for an England senior football team in 56 years.
A record crowd of 87,192 people watched the team beat Germany 2-1 after extra time at Wembley on Sunday (31 August).
A first goal came from Ella Toone, while the second came from substitute Chloe Kelly, securing their victory in the 110th-minute.
? YOUR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS ? pic.twitter.com/8mW7ngE0fR
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 31, 2022
What a team, what a performance, what a moment for women’s sport and for football in this country. All hail @Lionesses— Clare Balding ? (@clarebalding) July 26, 2022
The last time England won a major football trophy women were banned from playing football.
What a moment for all those who battled before to get this current crop here ?? #WEURO2022 pic.twitter.com/8eDKAT2t6n— Beth Fisher (@BethFisherSport) July 31, 2022
What a day for sport. What a day for women's sport ?????????? #Lionesses— Emily Diamond OLY (@EmilyDiamond11) July 31, 2022
I hope these girls realise what they have done and are going to do for womens football in this country! Absolutely incredible, get in the lasses…. It’s home? ❤️??? https://t.co/ALamWCyCpf— Beth Hepple (@Hepple7) August 1, 2022
But the Lionesses’ win also marked a historic moment for women’s sport in England, often seen as less than, especially in the world of football.
In a now viral clip, Arsenal icon and presenter Alex Scott said that the days of “begging” Premier League teams to host women’s matches in their stadiums were over.
Here’s @AlexScott reminding us all that 4 yrs ago when women’s football needed larger stadia, many clubs said NO
They know who they are!! pic.twitter.com/rBWGDIFZ9E— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) July 31, 2022
After one Euro 2022 game was even held at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, which has a capacity of just 7,000, Scott said: “I had a conversation yesterday. I’m not standing up at corporate events in front of sponsors anymore begging for them to get involved in the women’s game because you know what?
“If you’re not involved, you’ve missed the boat, you’ve missed the train. Because look at this… it has finally left the station and it is gathering speed.”
The emotion, the history, the hurt. It's all there in Alex's voice. But what a night – it's all changed now. You beautiful Lionesses! #Lionesses https://t.co/XypeTeogmI— Bronia Allen (@allen_bronia) August 1, 2022
To any brand or agency currently planning a reactive ad off the back of the #lionesses win, @IanWright0 has some advice: #genderpaygap pic.twitter.com/zhqfY6YtW1— ANT JACKSON (she/her) (@TheAntJackson) July 31, 2022
Former Crystal Palace and Arsenal player Ian Wright slated those who would “jump on” women’s football after the win, insisting: “This game needs continuous support for it to grow.”
For the the team themselves, the lasting impact of their victory will take a while to sink in. For now, celebration is the number one priority.
Manager Sarina Wiegman told the BBC after the Lionesses’ win: “I don’t think I realise what’s going on – I need some time.
“Now we have won the Euros the expectation will go up again. First we will party.”
But, she added: “During our preparation for the Euros we brought in some players who played in 1971.
“We should always remember the ones who went before us because they made a path for us. This team makes a path for the next generation.”
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