In the UK, the quick version of this is as follows:

  • In the late 1800’s, at the same time as the men’s game was forming into Leagues, there was a small movement of determined women footballers who organised themselves into a few teams, but this fizzled out
  • The First World War changed everything – women workers in munitions factories wanted a pastime and formed football teams. This became so hugely successful that crowds of tens of thousands regularly attended. The most famous team was the Dick, Kerr Ladies and the most famous player of all… Lily Parr
  • Women’s football became TOO successful. Even after the men returned from war and their Leagues restarted, women’s football remained more popular
  • So on 5th December 1921, the FA banned women from playing on any FA affiliated ground, in effect banning the women’s game. This killed it
  • The FA ban was only lifted in 1971. Since then, the women’s game has been rebuilding and the FA are now big backers of women’s football
  • The women’s game has grown pretty well but it still suffers from massive inequality in how it is treated, how it is covered by the media (or not) and how the players are paid

Make 2017 the year this all starts to change…

Here’s a fuller history of the women’s game.