The FIFA Museum is pleased to unveil new objects dedicated to the story of women’s football, which illustrate its long and complex history. These new objects focus on key moments for women’s football that pushed the game forward.
Since its beginnings, women’s association football has experienced many periods of popularity and decline, revealing an incredible resilience and strong will to play. We are the proud recipients of a generous donation from Danish club Boldklubben Femina, including the trophy they took home at the ‘unofficial’ women’s world cup in Italy in 1970. This trophy is the centrepiece of the showcases, highlighting a significant moment in time.
A turning point for women’s football
Overall, the 1970s were a turning point for women’s football, as the international tournaments held in Italy in 1970 and Mexico in 1971 showed that marginalisation did not prevent women from playing on a large scale. It also showed that women’s football was a commercially profitable endeavour, and something that would attract huge crowds. The audience at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City in 1971 for example, comprised 112,500 spectators.
An invitational tournament leads to the first FIFA Women’s World Cup
Moving forward, football associations began to officially recognise women’s football throughout the 1970s and FIFA conducted a survey of the member associations to determine their thoughts on the subject, receiving a wide range of responses or none at all, indicative of the long road ahead for the women’s game. In 1988, FIFA held an invitational tournament, which led to one of the most important milestones for the sport – the creation of the Women’s World Cup in 1991.
The Danish club BK Femina has a special place in the history of women’s football. They were Denmark’s representatives at the tournament in Italy in 1970, and took home the title on behalf of their nation. Last year, as part of the exhibition ‘Heroes: Centuries of Women’s Football, we had the pleasure of not only showcasing the trophy, but also one of the other objects they have gifted the museum, the match ball from the 1970 Final in Turin. One of their own, Birgit Schram, gave a talk at the museum focusing on her experience at the tournament and her career as a professional footballer at a time when women’s football was just beginning to be officially recognised. After the exhibition, BK Femina made the momentous decision to gift their precious objects to the museum.