Euro 2022: how England became a stronghold of women’s football

Whatever the outcome of the first semi-final between England and Sweden, this Tuesday July 26 (9 p.m.) in Sheffield (United Kingdom), the Women’s Football Euro organized this year on English lawns will mark certainly a victory for the host country. From its first matches spent to crush Norway (8-0) or Northern Ireland (5-0), until a possible final in the mythical enclosure of Wembley (90,000 seats), Sunday July 31, the “Lionesses” have always sold out at this European Championship.

A sign that in the country where modern football was born, supporters only ask to live to the rhythm of the round ball, whether it is led on the field by a man or a woman. Never deprived of emotion by the first, in club as in selection, where the players had reached the final of the last men’s Euro a year ago, the fans have long been chomping at the bit when it comes to women’s football.

The fault, in part, of the Football Association (FA), the English football federation, which prohibited women from practicing this sport considered dangerous for their health, from the 1920s until the 1970s. And despite a first Women’s Euro at low resonance organized on English soil in the summer of 2005, the discipline is left in the lurch by the institutions, which regard it above all as an adjustment variable when concluding budgets. Already alerted by the good results of its selection at the 2015 World Cup, finished in third place, the federation changes foot when the award of Euro 2021 looms (finally postponed to 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic) , which she will pocket.

Major reform of the national championship

A major reform was launched five years ago, “which mainly concerns the development of Women’s Super League (WSL), the English national championship, notes sports economist Luc Arrondel, a specialist in women’s football. A championship had been present since the 1990s and had become a little more structured in a semi-professional way from 2011, but it was disputed in the summer period, therefore with very little visibility. » The 2017 growth plan begins the process of professionalisation: independent governance of women’s football is established at the FA and the twelve clubs which are granted a professional license must pay their players at least sixteen hours a week and acquire of a women’s section for their training centre.

The vast majority of clubs rely on the facilities of their men’s section, which most often play in the Premier League, the English first division, although the women have their own stadium. “We have two assistants, a mental coach (…), two physiotherapists, a masseur, a doctor. The staffs are a little wider (just in France) and then, in terms of infrastructure, we are in a huge center. We have three gyms, an indoor synthetic pitch. It’s England, what! », recently enthused French international Kenza Dali, today at Everton after moving to Londoners West Ham, quoted by Agence France-Presse.

The reform also concerned the very form of the championship, where the number of clubs relegated to the lower level at the end of the season was reduced. “The WSL is more closed, which has brought more stability for the clubs and strengthened their competitiveness”, notes Luc Arrondel, especially, he specifies, that “The players of the English national team receive a significant income to remain playing in the English championship” and that foreign players have had more difficulty settling in the United Kingdom since Brexit, thus favoring the emergence of young English talent.

Growing attendance, flooding sponsors

While the level of play has logically progressed, crowds have followed in the stadiums, filled on average with a few thousand supporters before the start of the health crisis. A push that prompted the influx of sponsors and the arrival for three years of broadcasters such as the Sky Sports channel and the BBC, for the record sum of 8.1 million euros since the start of the 2021 school year, three times higher than the rights television stations of the French first division. “Contrary to what is usually practiced, this media coverage and these cash inflows are the consequence of an almost political reform of English football”, emphasizes Luc Arrondel.

With the European Championship, English football intends to strengthen its self-sufficiency for the coming seasons. Our objective is twofold: to organize a record tournament and leave a tangible legacy to develop women’s football.”advanced ahead of the event Sue Campbell, director of women’s football at the English federation, in remarks taken up by the British daily The Guardian. The Euro, like every major competition, could in particular promote an additional jump in vocations, and would make it possible to retain the public across the Channel for good. The condition for the progress of English women’s football to be reflected next season at club level on the European scene, still in difficulty on their side against their French, Spanish or German neighbors.



Football: how the Premier League tries to end violence

During the final of the European Football Championship between England and Italy on July 11, violence and racism made a resounding return on the international sports scene. Viewers and journalists were shocked to see unusual images in the final of a major competition: clashes with the police – which resulted in 49 arrests – and even a group of around 20 people without tickets forcing passage through the enclosure athletic.

The gloomy images were followed by racist attacks on the perpetrators of the missed penalties by the England team, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. UEFA, which manages European sports competitions, did not appreciate it: on October 18, it fined the English federation € 100,000 and ordered the England team to play their next home match. in camera.

Violence has disappeared from the screens

Hooliganism, nicknamed “English disease” in the 1960s, would he be back? Not in the Premier League, the showcase of English football, from which it has been largely eradicated. “For a long time, football clubs and authorities considered hooliganism to be a social problem disconnected from football. But the creation of the Premier League by the Sky channel in 1992 changed this approach: the Premier League had to become commercially attractive. Violence therefore had to disappear from the screens ”, recounts John Williams, a sociologist at the University of Leicester and specialist in hooliganism.

→ ANALYSIS Violence between supporters: how to better prevent it?

At the time, those in charge of the new championship used many levers to change the composition of the supporters of the participating clubs. Obligation to have a seat, but allocated randomly, which made it impossible for supporters to meet by affinity; higher ticket prices to keep young people out; ban on obtaining a ticket for an away match without being a subscriber but above all the deployment of surveillance cameras in stadiums and impressive police or security forces.

The results are in. In ten years, arrests in stadiums or on the sidelines of matches have been divided by three, from 3,089 in the five divisions in 2010-2011 to 1,089 during the 2019-2020 season. Stadium bans were halved, from 3,174 to 1,621, including 453 in the Premier League.

The middle classes in the stadiums

This very expensive groundwork made it possible to attract the middle classes, an older population and families, to the point of transforming the Premier League into a luxury product. This has greatly tempered the atmosphere of most elite stadiums, deplore some observers. “When the PSG supporters came to Liverpool in 2019 with their club during a meeting, all the elders like me remembered our youth”, remembers the sociologist, who is also a supporter, with a certain nostalgia: “This craze, this noise, this fury, they were formidable! “

However, these measures were never applied in the lower divisions. “They are much more free, less regulated, less supervised, assures John Williams. Violence therefore persists more. “

Racism that endures

As for racism, however, it has not disappeared from the Premier League, even if it is becoming more discreet and severity is also required. During the 2019-2020 season, several black players complained of being victims of monkey cries, especially in the stadiums of Tottenham, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City. A City supporter accused during a meeting with Manchester United has been given a three-year stadium ban.

“Racism is found even in the sports media”, notes Paul Campbell, also a sociologist at the University of Leicester. Together with colleagues, he analyzed journalists’ comments on BBC and ITV TV channels in 20 of the 2018 World Cup matches. They found a glaring difference in treatment: “70% of the positive comments about black players spoke of their physical ability, 10% of their natural abilities, 10% of their abilities related to their training and learning. For white players, 50% concerned their learning, 18% their physical strength and 8% their natural aptitudes. “


In France, proposals expected in two weeks

A meeting was held at the Ministry of the Interior, urgently, Tuesday, November 23, in response to the excesses of supporters in football stadiums, in the presence of the ministers of justice and sports, representatives of the Football League professional and Federation, as well as some club leaders.

→ ANALYSIS. Football: against overflows in stadiums, rules that are too vague

At the end of this meeting, Gerald Darmanin assured that measures would be announced in two weeks. “We have agreed to work together on four subjects”, detailed the Minister of the Interior. The prohibition of stadiums for some supporters, their security (cameras, safety nets), private security responsible for controlling access and the decision-making process for stopping matches are the areas on which participants must work, who are will meet again in two weeks to submit their proposals to the Prime Minister.



Euro 2021: Raheem Sterling’s double revenge

Let’s call it the Sterling Paradox. While the main architect of England’s success since the start of this Euro is undoubtedly Raheem Sterling, the front pages of the British newspapers on Thursday 8 July were mostly devoted to his accomplice in the attack, Harry Kane. “Kane You believe it! “ headlined for example the very popular Daily Mail after the victory, Wednesday, against Denmark, and therefore the qualification of the “three lions” for their first final in a major tournament since their victory in the World Cup in 1966.

The best Englishman of this Euro and the most decisive, Wednesday, in the semi-final was however not the captain and famous player of Tottenham, but indeed Raheem Sterling, the lively winger of Manchester City. After having scored all the goals of the selection during the group stage, it was he who caused the two goals against Denmark: that of the equalizer, by pushing an unfortunate Dane to throw the ball into his own goal, then that of victory by inciting – perhaps wrongly – the referee to whistle a penalty converted by the popular Kane.

→ CONTEXT. Euro 2021 final: what if the Delta variant was one of the winners

The angry tattoo

Have the major English newspapers gone blind? Of course not, but they are not deaf to the negative comments of their readers focused on the native of Kingston (Jamaica) and naturalized English. The press even demanded his exclusion from the team on the eve of the 2018 World Cup. Notably because of a tattoo in the shape of a machine gun inscribed on his calf, which had been interpreted as an apology for the violence coming from a Brent kid. , popular and dangerous area where he grew up after his mother arrived in England.

→ READ. Euro 2021: can sport really be politically “neutral”?

The defense of the interested party arguing on the contrary that this tattoo, of doubtful taste, enabled him to push away the memory of the assassination of his father before his own eyes, had not been heard.

→ EXPLANATION. Euro 2021: why do the English sing “Football’s coming home”?

“When I was two my father was shot dead and I made a promise to myself that I would never touch a gun in my life. I shoot with the right foot, so it has a deeper meaning and the drawing is not finished ”, he had declared.

He had also completed it a few weeks later with another tattoo representing him kissing his baby. Lost, the machine was on. He was then criticized for having bought a house considered flashy to his mother, whom he accompanied as a child to the hotels where she cleaned.

And especially not to score enough in Manchester City, where his coach, the Spaniard Pep Guardiola, confined him for a good part of the season on the substitutes’ bench: this year, he has scored only 10 goals, all of them competitions combined, while he counted 22 during the 2018-2019 season.

“He must always prove to people that they are wrong”

Like Karim Benzema or Neymar, Raheem Sterling always has to show more than others on the pitch for extra-sporting reasons. Just before the Euro, his coach Gareth Southgate, who has never let go despite his empty spell at the club, had noted. “Raheem must always prove to people that they are wrong (on him, Editor’s note) , he said before adding: “He’s been huge for us for three, four years. He knows that we have faith, confidence in him, his performances with us were electric. “

This update aimed at the British media concerns only moderately viewers of this Euro unaware of the domestic concerns of a player, of whom they especially saw the audacity, the technique and the speed (he is almost as fast as Kylian Mbappé). Which could earn him the title of best player of the tournament, if the English win, this Sunday, July 11, in the final against the Italians. Perhaps it will emerge on this occasion the tweet he had published on June 13, just before the Euro: “Never forget where it all started”.


First English final in half a century

♦ Fourth in the world ranking of nations, England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup (beaten by Croatia), as in 1990. But her best result remains the title in the 1966 World Cup, which she won at home, in the old Wembley Stadium.

♦ A failed semi-final for the coach in 1996. England’s last appearance in a one-Euro semi-final had gone badly for current England manager Gareth Southgate. Then player, he had missed a penalty during the penalty shootout which sent Germany to the final.



Euro 2021: why do the English sing “Football’s coming home”?

Penalty. Harry Kane, the Three Lions striker, stands a few yards from the ball. A few seconds in suspense, the English supporters are in suspense. Goal. The crowd, dressed in red and white colors, goes wild and begins to sing the famous unofficial anthem: “Football’s coming home”.

Wednesday July 7, before the semi-final – won – against Denmark, it was the British Guard who played the song, at the request of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

But where does this song come from?

Created in 1996 at the request of the English football federation, to support the organization of the Euro in the birthplace of football, it returns every two years, during major international competitions such as the Euro or the World Cup. .

While the battle of the “Britpop” or English pop, divided the country and the world between fans of “Blur” and “Oasis”, it is the group “The Lightning Seeds” who had been chosen to write this song.

→ PRACTICAL. Euro 2021: what you need to know about the regulations of the European Football Championship

At the antipodes of bellicose or cockade songs sometimes sung by English supporters, such as “No Surrender to the IRA” or “Ten German Bombers”, the group’s composer, Ian Broudie had chosen a humorous, almost parodic note. “I didn’t want the song to be ‘Angleterrist’ or ‘nationalist'”, he explained to Guardian In 1994.

The lyrics are full of irony, between disillusion and hope: “Everyone seems to know the result, we have all seen it before, we know it well, we are sure that England will spoil everything, will miss everything”. As a premonition, since that year, England failed – at home – against Germany at the gates of the final. And since then, every Euro has been the same disappointment.

Ian Broudie wanted a song that “Or more about what it is to be a football fan, which, at 90%, is to lose. Most of a football fan’s life is made up of disappointment ”, he added. He had thus refused that players sing with the group, instead enlisting David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, two actors of the comedy series “Football Fantasy League” on the BBC.

The success was immediate. “It’s user-friendly, people care, there’s that huge, repetitive ‘It’s coming home’ catchphrase that has become practically a slogan for every tournament. It’s full of deadpan English humor, the rhymes are simple, there’s a big chorus and the lyrics are made so that anyone feels like even bawling it out, they’ll sing along near fair “Frank Skinner explained in a podcast in 2019.

A transnational success

The song was so popular with English players that Paul Gascoigne, the eccentric leader of the time, refused to get off the team bus until it had been played fully, he also said.

On the opponent’s side, even the song was a great success. Jürgen Klinsmann, former coach and striker of the German team, had revealed that the Germans sometimes sing it when going to matches.

No. 1 in sales

The song is once again number 1 in sales or downloads, and even the only number 1 of “Lightning Seeds” in six albums recorded, especially during the World Cup 2018, also interrupted before the final. For 25 years, supporters have been singing it, each time hoping for a victory for their team. Sunday July 11, the day of the final, this time they hope to sing it without rancor.



Euro 2021: England has an appointment with Italy for its first final

England reach the final of “their” Euro against Italy. Deprived of a trophy for half a century, the English dismissed courageous Danes (2-1 after extra time) on Wednesday July 7 in the semifinals in London, capsizing Wembley stadium before facing the Italians on Sunday.

In a very intense match, a questionable penalty transformed into two stages by captain Harry Kane (104th) freed the English, who had been pushed to extra time after a splendid free kick from Mikkel Damsgaard (30th) and an equalizer against his Danish captain Simon Kjaer’s camp (39th).

→ ANALYSIS. At Euro 2021, already a great story for the Danes

Fifty-five years after the English triumph at the World Cup in 1966, the “Three Lions” will play their first Euro final after years of famine and disillusionment.

A remarkable journey in this Euro

“I am so proud of the players. It was an incredible evening, the supporters were incredible all evening “, welcomed England coach Gareth Southgate. Italy “Has really been a very high level team for two years now. (…) It’s a team that plays with a lot of energy and style, it’s difficult to score against them ”, he noted.

→ READ. Euro 2021: Italy arrives in the final by beating Spain

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who attended the meeting, highlighted the “Fantastic performance from Gareth Southgate’s team”, who played “With all his heart”, adding on Twitter: “Now the final. Let’s take her home. “ Same satisfaction from the supporters, who celebrated this success by the dozen in the streets of London and Manchester in particular, and in one of the British newspapers, several of whom made a play on words with Final (“Final”) and Finally (” finally “).

This qualification for the final rewards an almost perfect course in this tournament organized in eleven cities of eleven countries, which they will have practically played at home, with the exception of a quarter-final in Rome against Ukraine (4-0 ). It now remains to finish in style on Sunday, at 9 p.m. against Italy.



Volunteer will be intentionally infected corona in Britain, efforts will be made to understand the effect of the vaccine

Coronavirus: The new type of Corona virus has created fear among people. After the emergence of a new strain in Britain, many countries have intensified identity and isolation measures. Strain has been found in many countries including Canada, and there are reports of its spread in eight European countries.

How to understand the effect of Kovid-19 vaccine

Vaccination against Kovid-19 has started in many countries, but scientists have still not understood much about the virus. British scientists have found a unique way to understand the virus better. Scientists are about to infect 2500 healthy volunteers with Kovid-19. Through this, their goal is to understand the behavior of viruses in the body.

The Sun newspaper report has told that scientists want to know how long the virus may take to develop. The government has spent $ 45 million on research. Research will be carried out by Imperial College, Royal Free Hospital of National Health Service and pharma company hVIVO. Generally, such research raises ethical questions because the healthy people involved in the test have to be infected with the virus.

Volunteers will infect themselves with the Corona virus

This is not the first time testing for deliberately infecting the Corona virus. Earlier, such human trials have been done on diseases of typhoid, malaria and flu. Due to high immunity among the youth, they are being made part of the test. In the UK, the infection will begin in January to investigate the effects of the Kovid-19 vaccine and the results are expected in May.

Volunteers aged 18–30 years will be given experimental vaccine through the nose after which they will be infected with the corona virus. All volunteers will receive $ 5300 during their hospital stay and will be monitored day and night. Based on this, the intention of the scientists is to find the dilution of vaccine helpful in prevention of Kovid-19? Earlier, on Wednesday, British scientists revealed that even those with mild symptoms of Kovid-19 could develop immunity and stay for about four months.

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