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Women's Soccer Fans: a Constantly Growing Phenomenon

The transmission generated by the Club Tigres de México on its Facebook account during the final of the Women's League of that country, broke the mark of people connected simultaneously with 146.505 fans, which shows that the audiences in women's soccer increase gradually.

Women playing a soccer game

Records set during the most recent Women's World Cup in France further consolidate the growth of women's football as a sporting event. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

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Leer en español: Audiencias en el fútbol femenino: fenómeno en constante crecimiento

In Mexican soccer, there was another example of the global growth that women's soccer is experiencing in terms of audiences, with the successful transmission via streaming of the final between Rayadas and Tigres, which won the first and left a high number of viewers.

The report of the Club Tigres transmission on Facebook, also shared by the league, broke the maximum mark of simultaneous people viewing the game with 146.505 live viewers; which means an increase of 26% compared to the 108 thousand people who watched in streaming the final of the second leg of the Guardianes 2021, between Tigres and Chivas in men soccer.

On the Liga MX platforms, the streams reached 566.000 people at different moments of the transmission, achieving 23 thousand interactions. Additionally, the match also broke the record for attendance at a stadium throughout the event with 36,843 spectators on the Mexico City campus.

At the end, the Rayadas took the title of the Apertura 2021 after beating the 'Amazons' from P.K. shootout 3-1. A title that served for Eva Espejo to become the first woman to obtain the title in Mexico occupying the position of DT.

Women's soccer is gaining more and more attention

Mikel Arreola, executive president of the Women's MX League, told ESPN that “Women's soccer is a sport that continues to grow, whose development has been enhanced, and proof of this is the level and audience of the Women's MX League. With all pride we can say that one of the examples of women's soccer fans is that of Monterrey”.

These statements recall and reinforce those of the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, after the most recent Women's World Cup. “More than a sporting event, the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup was a cultural phenomenon. Having exceeded the one billion barrier shows the power of attraction that women's soccer has and that, if we promote and broadcast the fans, they will always want to see it even if it is female games”, which he gave to the FIFA page.

In Mexico, official data ensure that a total of 33.5 million fans follow the Women's League. The engagement with the fans in four seasons has been key and at that point television broadcasts have a lot to do with it. In fact, a match between the aforementioned Rayadas and Tigres reached a world milestone with more than 51,000 fans in the stands, numbers that are only surpassed on the female level by the 60,000 spectators who witnessed an Atlético de Madrid -Barça of 2019 within the framework of the pioneering League of Spain.

The facts are in sight because in the final of the first professional women's league in Colombia, in 2017, Independiente Santa Fe was crowned over Atlético Huila at the El Campín stadium in Bogotá, with more than 30 thousand spectators.

In the case of Brazil, the ladies' tournament has eight major teams led by Corinthians, a club that has already filled its stadium with 28,862 fans. Although, it is necessary to clarify that, in this country, women do not play in the same stadiums as men's teams

If the world past is brought up again, the audience for the final played by the US and the Netherlands reached 14.2 million viewers in the North American country, higher than the 11.4 americans that watched the final game of 2018 World Cup in Russia between France and Croatia.

Records set during the most recent Women's World Cup in France further consolidate the growth of women's soccer as a sporting event.

Examples? England versus Germany which had 77,768 spectators, then the USA against Portugal with 49,504, the Netherlands against Australia left 30,640, then Sweden against Germany 25,582, Australia versus Chile 20,029 and finally Scotland against Jamaica 18,555.

Also read: Controversies in soccer: 5 fixed matches that generated controversy

Sustained growth

The newspaper La Vanguardia highlights that the first official women's soccer match was played in London on March 23, 1895, between a team from the north and another from the south, which was won by the northern representation 7-1. 10,000 fans attended the historic engagement. More than a century later, in 2019, the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid was attended by the aforementioned 60 thousand souls for the duel between 'colchoneras' and 'blaugranas'.

In the case of FC Barcelona, before the departure of Lionel Messi, it was more common in recent seasons to see girls wearing the names of Alexia, Jenni or Aitana on their shirts than that of the Argentine star. The club has even launched those men's-sized shirts on the market, because they consider that there is a captive male audience. More proof that women's sport is living a positive reality and a successful present.

FIFA data estimate that 45 million women and girls play soccer and in the world 13.5 million are already federated. In Spain, for example, licenses have doubled since 2016, increasing from 40,000 to 77,000, while the average audience per league game increased by 37 percent in 2020.