The amazing story of the unofficial 1971 Woman’s World Cup football series (known as soccer in North America, Ireland and Australia) has been unrecognized for 50 years. Until now the women who pioneered the game for women have not been given the accolades they deserve.
In 1971 the women’s game was promoted heavily by the organizers who had run the men’s World Cup in the previous year who saw a financial opportunity in the growing interest of women playing the game in Denmark, Mexico, Italy, Argentina, France and England.
Misogyny within FIFA prevented the organisers from using the stadiums that were used for the men’s World Cup series. This backfired as it left the 110.000 capacity at Azteca Station and the 56.000 Jalisco capacity stadiums, where FIFA had no control, free to host the event.
Both stadiums were filled with enthusiastic audiences which today still hold the record for attendances world-wide, in the fastest growing sport in the world.
It wasn’t until 1991 that FIFA sanctioned the game for women.
Directed by James Erskine and Rachel Ramsay and produced by Serena and Venus Williams the film uses archival footage, commentators, and new interviews on and off the field, with players from most of the teams. Archives were searched in 12 different countries.
The World Cup is the most prestigious football tournament in the world watched by close to half the global population.
The women now have 32 teams who compete every four years and when the Australian national team the Matildas made the semi-finals in Perth this year it was watched by almost half the nation.
Football fans will be enthralled by this documentary.
This is the first of the Lotterywest Films program for the Perth Festival.
Showing at Somerville UWA Nedlands from Monday November 20th to Sunday 26th. Gates open at 6 pm.
Our very own Perth Glory women’s team (currently at the top of the national league ladder) will attend the opening night of the film at Somerville.