a feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness.
“her cheeks were flushed with excitement”
Synonyms: hysteria, buzz, frenzy, furor, emotion
This example should apply to all sports fans, especially football fans. In the countdown to the World Cup, sports companies around the world should shell out the big bucks to build grand studios, their shows should build their content around the World Cup, pundits should be unveiled with videos and memes to outdo each other. We should see lists dedicated to the greatest players of our time and social media should explode with debate. That should carry over to cafes, bars, and pubs which should buzz with excitement as we tell tales about when women’s football provided solace to those not on the frontlines of a battle and for some time, remind ourselves of those brief moments when people forgot the war and remembered how to be happy, remembered how to cheer together. There should be dramatic jersey unveilings and official songs to stir our emotions. Excitement should fill the streets, with everyone trying to get a sip of the World cup beer and consequently getting drunk on it. Can you picture it? Do you remember it from 2018? Example: As 2019 is a World Cup year, there is excitement everywhere.
Unfortunately, this excitement only exists in an alternate universe; in our reality, almost none of this applies. Very few rebels go against the norm, but we’re not rebelling simply for rebellion’s sake; it is because for us there is no other way. The 2019 World Cup is truly exciting and we rebels see it for exactly what it is. An event held every four years when the biggest and best gladiators from the World of Football take center stage and, with the football pitch as their arena, fight to the finish, the right to lift that trophy. There are people who admire what they see as rebellion but don’t get it, there are those that get it but are afraid to go against the norm, there are those who are excited and are looking for ways to fuel that excitement, and, finally, for anything to be considered a rebellion, those involved must be fighting against the powers that be, who want to keep things exactly as they are; this dominance and control drives them.. We’ll ignore the last set—this is for the new rebels, for the rebels who have been there from the start, and for the rebels who haven’t quite emerged yet. France 2019 is starting, and our excitement will be infectious!
Use it in a sentence: They were filled with excitement when they realized they could score free beer for freely sharing World Cup trivia.
It’s been 28 years since the first Women’s World Cup, meaning there’ve been eight tournaments—so we’ll share 8 essential World Cup facts that just might impress your friends, or a few rebels-in-training.
1. The first Women’s World Cup tournament was held in Guangdong, China, in 1991. However, FIFA first floated the idea of a women’s tournament in 1988, with the Women’s InvitationTournament, held in Guangzhou. The experiment was deemed successful, which opened the gate for an official championship.
2. Although it’s now known as the Women’s World Cup, some didn’t like the idea of calling a women’s tournament a “World Cup.” FIFA didn’t like the ring of “Women’s World Cup” so they did not put it on it instead it was called the “1st FIFA World Championship for Women’s Football for the M&M Cup.” Matches were 80 minutes rather than the standard 90. No official reason is given for this but, for pub points, you can speculate that FIFA wanted to ensure that the disparities between the men’s tournament and the women’s tournament stood out, in case the incredibly long and awkward name wasn’t sufficient to reflect this.. For extra points, kindly refer to the statement made by April Heinreichs, captain of the United States team, “They were afraid our ovaries were going to fall out if we played 90.”
3. Women’s football did not start in 1991. According to Wikipedia:
Women may have been playing “football” for as long as the game has existed. Evidence shows that an ancient version of the game (Tsu Chu) was played by women during the Han Dynasty (25–220 CE). Two female figures are depicted in Han Dynasty (25–220 CE) frescoes, playing Tsu Chu.There are, however, a number of opinions about the accuracy of dates, the earliest estimates at 5000 BCE. Reports of an annual match being played in Scotland are reported as early as the 1790s. The first match recorded by the Scottish Football Association took place in 1892 in Glasgow. In England, the first recorded game of football between women took place in 1895.
As far back as the 1920s, England laid claim to around 150 women’s teams. But, in 1921, the English Football Association had an epiphany; on December 5, 1921, the English FA banned its members from allowing women’s football to be played on their grounds; they also stopped its members from acting as referees or assistants at women’s game. Ultimately, the FA banned women’s football, releasing a letter that explained that football was “quite unsuitable for females.”
England’s actions caused a ripple effect around the world. Support for women’s football began fizzling out. Countries where the sport had been gaining in popularity started having second thoughts. The ‘50s were a pivotal era in which everyone began banning women’s football. Germany , a powerhouse in women’s sports and an inspiration to other European nations, banned women’s football in 1955, with the DFB stating, “this aggressive sport is essentially alien to the nature of woman.” Africa was not left unscathed; according to Weibe Boer in History of Football in Nigeria, in 1950, the English FA told the Nigeria football federation to ban women’s sport or face their wrath—and the death of their careers. Prior to the Nigerian ban, Nigerian women were living it up! The women won a 1943 novelty match against a men’s team at the African Sports Club in Jos, as well as several other encounters.
4. It wasn’t until 1970 that Germany lifted their ban on women’s football. England followed suit in 1971. Nigeria came to the party much later; in 1989, women’s football became an officially recognized sports.
5. The statistics nerds will treasure this point. The current record for most international goals by any player—male or female—is 184. Abby Wambach holds that record. We’d love to tell you if anyone else is getting close, but any Google searches for “most international football goals” lead to lists consisting only of men. A fun extra fact: Her full name is Mary Abigail Wambach and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a Women’s World Cup winner and holder of the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year award.
6. The FIFA Women’s World Cup was designed by Beirut-born William Sawaya, cofounder of the Milanese company Sawaya & Moroni. The trophy features a marble base, and the spiral and football are made of sterling silver covered in 23-carat gold. She sits at 45cm high— nearly 10cm higher than the men’ trophy—has a maximum width of 16cm, and weighs 1.8kg. The original trophy was handmade for the 1999 tournament. It is valued at $30,000; while the men’s trophy may be shorter, its value is placed at around $150,000. Still, the women get to keep theirs, as a new trophy is produced for every FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, while the men simply pass it around.
7. This is more of a FIFA fact than a World Cup fact, but remember, we did promise to make you a pub champion. You’ll need extra info if you want to secure extra free beer. This one is particularly fun: FIFA does not leave the calendar free for the Women’s World Cup. During the Men’s World Cup in Russia, there was nothing on the FIFA calendar, enabling 47% of the world’s population to follow and argue football. Come June, we’ll see a staggering difference:
- 23 May–15 June: FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 (Poland)
- 03 June: FIFA Council meeting
- 03–11 June: Official or friendly matches
- 05 June: 69th FIFA Congress (Paris)
- 07 June–07 Jult: FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 (France)
- 14 June–07 July: Copa America 2019 (Brazil)
- 15 June–07 July: CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019 (USA/Costa Rica)
- 15 June-13 July: Africa Cup of Nations 2019 (Egypt)
If you look at the entire calendar, January and February were pretty quiet; in March, they found time for a quick council meeting and international matches; April and May featured just one calendar entry each. August is clear, September has three events, October just two, in November we’re down to one, and December is left absolutely free. Yet June, a month in which the world’s attention should be on the greatest FIFA product of all time, is crammed full with activities and tournaments. That spills over to July as well; the month’s cup runneth over so much that the finals of three tournaments will be held on the same day.
8. Of the 24 teams that will feature in France, 15—more than half—are coached by a man. In Russia, there were no female coaches.
Argentina: Carlos Borello
Australia: Ante Milicic
Brazil: Oswaldo Fumeiro Alvarez, aka Vadão
Cameroon: Alain Djeumfa
Canada: Kenneth Heiner-Møller
Chile: José Letelier
China: Jia Xiuquan
England: Phil Neville
Jamaica: Hue Menzies
Korea Republic: Yoon Deok-yeo
New Zealand: Tom Sermanni
Nigeria: Thomas Dennerby
Norway: Martin Sjögren
Spain: Jorge Vilda
Sweden: Peter Gerhardsson
South Africa: Desiree Ellis
France: Corinne Diacre
Germany: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg
Italy: Milena Bertolini
Japan: Asako Takakura
Netherlands: Sarina Wiegman
Scotland: Shelley Kerr
Thailand: Nuengrutai Srathongvian
USA: Jill Ellis
Finally, we’ll throw in a few assorted facts and figures to ensure you walk away as champion of the bar.
- Only four teams have won the Women’s World Cup:
- The United States: 1991, 1999, and 2015
- Norway: 1995
- Germany: 2003 and 2007
- Japan: 2011
- The tournament in France will be the third to be hosted in Europe, after the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden and the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.
- In the last edition of the tournament, USWNT forward Carli Lloyd became the first to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. The eight women’s tournaments have seen a total of 19 hat-tricks, with Carolina Morace of Italy scoring the first in 1991.
- Nigeria is the only African country to have made an appearance at every World Cup since 1991. This makes the Super Falcons part of an elite group that includes China, Japan, Norway, Brazil, and the United States.
This bracket, designed by the amazing Kelly Jimenez, shows the 24 teams competing at France ’19
Armed with these facts and your crown safely placed on your head, the pub is your pitch, own it.
At this point, you can tell I am absolutely ecstatic about the World Cup; over the last month, I’ve been checking my calendar, binging on old games, and hooking up with fellow rebels, both old and new, to get ready for June 7. And while this piece is set in a pub and provides tips on how to score free beer, that doesn’t need to be your thing. No matter where you’re watching from, football is the universal language.
I am not alone in my excitement; a number of teams have created videos to fuel the hype, while banter is increasing on social media (and hashflags are now here!). The rising number of people talking about this World Cup indicates that a rebellion started by resilient renegades, a rebellion steeped in controversy and seemingly always involving some sort of struggle, is only getting bigger. New rebels are finding their voice.
With all the odds stacked against women’s football, it makes it quite hard for an average fan to follow the game. It truly takes a rebellious spirit to go looking for it, it takes strength to love it, and absolute guts to keep proclaiming your support for it. But so long as we do, women’s football will increase in popularity, and then we’ll no longer need a rebellion. When we overcome the cultural and political struggles, we’ll realize the truth of the matter is that women’s football is just that: football.