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lindagray

Women's football in the United Kingdom 1

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Women's football in England
Women's football has been played in England for over a century, sharing a common history with the men's game as the country in which the Laws of the Game were codified.

Although women's football was originally very popular in the early 20th century, after an almost terminal decline it has only been since the 1990s that the game has seen a large increase in female players, as well as in spectators, culminating in England hosting the Women's European Championships in 2005.

League system
The national league system in women's football in England is currently operated by The FA, with the WSL at the top. For its first three seasons (2011–2013), the WSL was operated on a licence system with no promotion or relegation, similar to the system used in rugby league's Super League. The WSL replaced the FA Women's Premier League at the top of the system. Its teams also compete for the Continental Cup.

The Premier League is divided into six leagues over two divisions: the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division and the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division sits above four Division One leagues. Teams in these two divisions compete in the Premier League Cup.

Below the Premier League are eight regional leagues. Below the regional leagues are the county leagues.

As in the men's game, some Welsh women's football clubs compete in the English pyramid. The most successful are Cardiff City and the now defunct Barry Town, both of which have played in the Women's Premiership.

FA Women's Super League
The Football Association Women's Super League (currently known as the Barclays FA Women's Super League for sponsorship reasons or FA WSL for short) is the highest league of women's football in England. Established in 2010, it is run by the Football Association and currently features 12 fully professional teams.

An initial eight teams competed in the inaugural 2011 edition, which replaced the FA Women's Premier League as the highest level of women's football in England. Between 2014 and 2018, FA WSL consisted of two divisions–WSL 1 and WSL 2–and brought promotion and relegation system to the league. Since the 2018–19 season, FA WSL 2 is now known as the FA Women's Championship and remains the second division in the English women's football pyramid. WSL has operated as a summer league running from March until October, from its creation until the end of the 2016 season. From autumn 2017, the league operates as a winter league from September to May, with a one-off shortened bridging season, known as the FA WSL Spring Series, held between February and May 2017. The WSL champions and runners-up qualify for the UEFA Women's Champions League the following season. The current FA Women's Super League champions are Arsenal, who won the 2018–19 edition.

Clubs
The following twelve clubs are competing in the 2019–20 season, with foundation clubs displayed in bold text.

Team Location Ground Capacity 2018–19 season
Arsenal Borehamwood Meadow Park 4,502 1st
Birmingham City Solihull Damson Park 3,050 4th
Brighton & Hove Albion Crawley Broadfield Stadium 6,134 9th
Bristol City Filton Stoke Gifford Stadium 1,500 6th
Chelsea Kingston upon Thames Kingsmeadow 4,850 3rd
Everton Southport Walton Hall Park   10th
Liverpool Birkenhead Prenton Park 16,587 8th
Manchester City Manchester Academy Stadium 7,000 2nd
Manchester United Manchester Leigh Sports Village 12,000 WC, 1st
Reading High Wycombe Adams Park 9,617 5th
Tottenham Hotspur Canons Park The Hive Stadium 6,500 WC, 2nd
West Ham United Romford Rush Green Stadium 3,000 7th

 

 

Northern Ireland women's national football
The Northern Ireland Women's Football Association (NIWFA) is the IFA's women's football arm. It runs a Women's Cup, Women's League and the Northern Ireland women's national football team.

Records
Northern Ireland's Simone Magill holds the world record for the fastest international goal in women's football. Previously, US forward Alex Morgan had held the record at twelve seconds. Magill achieved an eleven-second goal against Georgia at the start of a European Qualifying match on 3 June 2016, after chasing down the ball and then receiving a cross from a teammate. The Irish Football Association awarded her with a special trophy. The goal also marks the fastest ever international goal by any national Northern Irish team - male or female.

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