What a month it's been! 64 matches played and a whopping 164 goals have been shot into our FIFA Approved 4G Stadium PRO Goals!
It really was an unpredictable World Cup, and one of many firsts which kept us all on the edge of our seats from the very beginning…
Before the games had even started, there were 8 new comers to the tournament. The Philippines, Vietnam, Zambia, Morocco, Republic of Ireland, Haiti, Portugal and Panama all qualified in February 2023 and secured their place in the group stages.
The tear-jerking moment from Morocco, also known as the Atlas Lionesses, when the news broke of their transition to the round of 16. Making them the first Arab nation to ever reach this stage of the tournament. Not only this, but defender Nouhaila Benzina made history as the first woman to wear a Hijab during the tournament, empowering many to believe that football well and truly is for everyone.
Nigeria also became the first African nation to complete the group stage unbeaten!
We were all surprised by 2019 World Cup winners, USA getting knocked out in the quarter finals of the tournament. The same goes for Germany, even with Alexandra Popp's impressive score tally.
Jamaica's Reggae Girlz made it out of the knockout stages for the first time in history (for both the men's and women's team) with their strong performance against Brazil. Making them the first Caribbean nation to make it to the Round of 16! At the same time, this marked the first time since 1995 that Brazil had not progressed through to the group stages.
Attendance: Nearly 2 million fans attended the games held across Australia and New Zealand, this is up by almost 600,000 compared 2019 FIFA World Cup held in France.Viewership: It has been announced that there was a viewership of over 2 billion for this year's tournament, double of what we saw in 2019. The match with the highest viewership was China v England which had an audience of 53.9 million.
And to top it all off? The best-ever finish from the Lionesses in the FIFA Women's World Cup! The Lionesses have captured the hearts of many during the tournament and it's been an honour for the nation to see them score their way to the finals for the first time in history!
It was also a first for us here at Harrod Sport, as this was our first ever FIFA Women's World Cup contract – and what a corker it was! It's always an honour to play a part in these prestigious events but to play a small part in the progression and visibility of women's football is a privilege.
Here's what Managing Director Stephanie Harrod had to say about the event:
"As a female business owner in the sports market for many years, I have been involved in many high sporting level events that our company has been fortunate to win contracts for. However, what has become increasingly poignant in the last 5 years is the ongoing development and admiration of women's sport!
We were incredibly proud to have supplied product to the UEFA Women's Euros 2022 and honoured to have won another contract to supply products to FIFA Women's World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
These women are inspirational and I hope the development of women's football continues to thrive and get the media attention it deserves."
Lastly, a huge congratulations to Spain who took home the cup and had a brilliant final performance in the final on Sunday after Olga Carmona's winning shot!
The 2023 Women's World Cup truly highlighted the progression and development of women's football across the globe. Although there are still hurdles to overcome, such as equalized funding, equal pay, and improvements in training conditions, the increased media presence of women's sports has made it more accessible to watch and get involved in.
We've witnessed individual players become ambassadors for young girls and women, advocating for equal opportunities in schools and clubs. This has been exemplified by the Lionesses and the new measures passed by the British government. After years of losing generations of potential football enthusiasts, the prospect of new and upcoming female players emerging across the globe is something we can't wait to behold.
After this year, who knows what the 2027 FIFA Women's World Cup will bring… We are SO excited to see!