A lot has changed since the early 2000s when the first wave of female footballers emerged from Clairefontaine, among them legendary icons Laura Georges, Louisa Nécib (Cadamuro), Camille Abily, and Amandine Henry. So: what does the Pôle France Féminin du football look like today?
We’re finally here, one week before the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in France. And all eyes are on Les Bleues to see if they can continue the magical journey begun last summer by their male counterparts in Russia.
Rounding out my coverage of how our global sports world was significantly shaped by the First World War a century ago is this recent piece for The Athletic. Reporting on “How the Great War Made Soccer the World’s Most Popular Sport—and Led to Its First Viral moment,” I learned a lot more than I anticipated. As a sports specialist with a sub-specialty on the First World War (thanks to my work on the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy France’s World War One Centennial project), I thought I knew the story’s key turning points. But as Jean Williams and Arnaud Waquet reminded me, there were many more.
Of particular interest to many is how the war era served as a golden age of women’s soccer, in Britain and elsewhere. Crowds of 10,000 paid to watch women play in 1917 and 1918, and a few years later, some 55,000 people crowded into Goodson Park to watch a women’s match. As Williams pointed out, makes you wonder why organizers of women’s professional soccer today don’t look to the ways that their predecessors shined 100 years ago in terms of getting the crowds out en masse with regularity...
Hello, and happy new year! May yours be merry and bright. I usually take the first week of the year to take stock of how the “best of” the past year puts greater focus into events of the coming one.Thus, here’s my watch list for the first half of the year. They’re less predictions and more things to take note of…though, if I’m honest, should things work out, I hope you give me some credit for my foresight!