The history of women's football has seen major competitions being launched at both the national and international levels. Women's football has faced many struggles throughout its history. Although its first golden age occurred in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s, when one match achieved over 50,000 spectators, the Football Association initiated a ban in 1921 that disallowed women's football games from the grounds used by its member clubs. The ban stayed in effect until July 1971. The same year, UEFA recommended that the women's game should be taken under the control of the national associations in each country.
At the beginning of the 21st century, women's football, like men's football, has become professionalised and is growing in both popularity and participation. From the first known professional team in 1984, to the hundreds of thousands of tickets sold for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, support of women's professional football (soccer) has increased around the globe. However, as in other sports, women have struggled for pay and opportunities equal to male football players. Major league and international women's football enjoys far less television and media coverage than the men's equivalent. In spite of this, the popularity and participation in women's football continues to grow.
U.S. women's soccer legend Mia Hamm takes a corner kick.
Mia Hamm (born March 17, 1972) is a retired American professional soccer player. Hamm played many years as a forward for the United States women's national soccer team and was a founding member of the Washington Freedom. Hamm held the record for international goals, more than any other player, male or female, in the history of soccer, until 2013 when fellow American Abby Wambach scored her 159th goal to break the record. Hamm is also the third most capped female player in soccer history behind Kristine Lilly and Christie Rampone, appearing in 275 international matches. She also leads the team with most assists with 144.
Hamm was named the women's FIFA World Player of the Year the first two times that award was given (in 2001 and 2002), and is listed as one of FIFA's 125 best living players (as chosen by Pelé) being one of two women, accompanied by teammate Michelle Akers. She was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as well as the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and the World Football Hall of Fame.
The Frauen-Bundesliga (English: Women Federal League) is the main league competition for women's football (soccer) in Germany. In 1990 the German Football Association (DFB) created the German Women's Bundesliga, based on the model of the men's Bundesliga. It was first played with north and south divisions, but in 1997 the groups were merged to form a uniform league. The league currently consists of twelve teams and the seasons usually last from late summer to the end of spring with a break in the winter.
... that the female footballer Bilgin Defterli decided to go to Germany because she saw no chance to play football in Turkey due to the dissolution of women's football leagues in 2003? (19 December 2013)
The Togo women's national football team is a FIFA-recognised team that represents Togo in international football competition. Togo have played five FIFA-recognised matches, all in 2006, and are currently unranked. They have not competed in major regional and international tournaments. While the country has under-17 and under-20 national sides, further development of the team and the sport in Togo faces challenges common to African countries, as well as country-specific problems such as the sport's lack of domestic popularity.