The city of Manchester will be hosting fixtures at the 2021 UEFA Women’s Euros finals, as part of England’s successful national bid.
Manchester FA and Manchester City Council worked together in 2018 to propose Manchester City’s Academy Stadium as one of the host venues for the summer tournament, should England be successful in their application.
The national FA’s decision to submit the bid came after the success of the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euros, where the Lionesses reached the semi-finals and attracted the attention of 4 million UK TV viewers. The tournament was last hosted in England in 2005, with nearly 30,000 fans in attendance to watch England’s opening match against Finland, in Manchester.
Colin Bridgford, CEO of Manchester FA, explained: “Manchester is a hub for women’s football, from the SSE Wildcats provision in the area, which delivers football opportunities to 5-11 year olds, through to our professional women’s teams at Manchester United and Manchester City. There is a clear pathway for girls in the area and so we are delighted that international women’s football will be coming to Manchester in July 2021”.
Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “As a world-class sporting city, Manchester was a natural choice to form part of England's successful bid to host the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 finals. Football is one of the many options available to local women and girls who want to get active and the chance to see players at the pinnacle of the game is sure to inspire more residents to take advantage of the facilities available to them locally year-round.”
Other successful host cities and stadia for the 2021 competition include:-
- Brighton & Hove - AMEX Stadium
- London - Wembley Stadium connected by EE and Brentford Community Stadium
- Milton Keynes - Stadium MK
- Nottingham - Meadow Lane
- Rotherham - AESSEAL New York Stadium
- Sheffield - Bramall Lane
- Southampton – St Mary’s Stadium
Martin Glenn, The FA’s chief executive officer, said: “Bringing EURO 2021 to England will be a tremendous opportunity to celebrate women’s football and will allow us to amplify our significant commitment to growing the game. In January, we pledged an additional £50m investment over the next six years and grassroots initiatives like our popular Wildcats scheme for five-to-eleven year old girls has seen the number of centres more than quadruple over the past year to 880.
“We cannot underestimate the positive impact this tournament will have on inspiring the next generation. Young girls and boys will be lifted by the chance to see Europe’s elite on their doorstep and it can only help the collective effort across our leagues and clubs to grow the game even further, especially with our restructured Women’s Super League making such a promising start.
Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s director of women’s football, said: “This is fantastic news for The FA, the country and, crucially, for the future development of girls’ and women’s football in England.
"Tournaments of the scale and profile of EURO 2021 have the power to inspire a new generation of young girls, and women of all ages, to get involved in the sport – for fitness, competition or just pure enjoyment, as well as the opportunity to grow support for the women’s game at both a club and national level.