Henry: “There are no longer any taboos surrounding women’s football”

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On this day in 2019, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off in France with the host nation, Les Bleues thrashing Korea Republic 4-0 in the opening game in front of an ecstatic Parc des Princes crowd.

While the United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) eventually defended their title and became world champions for the fourth time, one year on, France captain Amandine Henry believes that the 2019 Women’s World Cup has had a positive impact on women’s football.

“It’s had a huge impact and not just on women’s football, but more generally on women in sport in France. We’re getting more recognition both literally and metaphorically,” Henry told Fifa.com

“At the grassroots level there are many more registered players, while at national team level, we’re filling stadiums wherever we go,” – Henry. Picture: Fifa. 

“It’s nice, but we still have work to do, especially with regard to the French championship, even if there has been progress.”

The 30-year-old hopes that women’s football will becomes global as there are no longer any taboos surrounding it.

“The stereotype that ‘boys should play football and girls do gymnastics’ is in the past. Now the norms have changed, and anything is possible,” she said.

The France star with 10 Division 1 Féminine titles and five Champions League medals with Olympique Lyonnais didn’t really imagine that, for an entire month, women’s football would take centre stage in France but was hopeful that it would happen. Picture: Fifa. 

“Deep down we were hoping for that without necessarily believing it would happen. In the league, we had a hard time filling the stadiums so we were afraid the World Cup might be the same,” said Henry

“When we saw our match attendance numbers, we realised that something had happened. Now it would be nice if we had a slightly more uniform championship, and for women’s football to also become a priority for some clubs.

“It will happen over time. I think sometimes you need closer links with the men’s game, and to have similar levels of publicity and media coverage, but that will be a gradual process,” concluded the France midfielder.

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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

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