It was a winner in every way and the FIFA Women’s World Cup drew to a close yesterday with the undoubted best team in the world lifting the trophy.
Once the final calculations are made it is expected that the global viewing audience throughout the tournament will have exceeded 1 Billion.
The hope was that the USA would draw a record crowd of greater than the 23 million who watched the 2015 final. The tournament has already delivered the most watched TV programme in both England and France this year with 11.7 million watching England against the USA in their semi-final and 10.7 million tuning in to see France play the Champions in their Quarter Final.
Among the many statistics that have been highlighted is the growth in the number of passes per game from 750 to 830 per game over the four years since the last World Cup. As an indicator of the quality of performance that is significant and debunks in absolute terms the notion that the quality is not as high as in the Men’s game.
It is a different sport with the less physical nature of some of the challenges allowing for a greater level of speed and skill in many areas.
It was a shame that the Republic of Ireland weren’t there to take part but being competitive in qualifying against the Netherlands who got to the final and Norway who made the last eight, is no cause for shame.
Michelle O’Neill gave is a presence on the biggest day in the history of Women’s Football at least running the line as Assistant Referee, the first time we have ever had an official at this level and backing up Joy Neville in Rugby who was the Referee at the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup Final.
This tournament was a joy to watch and full credit to RTÉ Sport and TG4 for bringing every minute of it free to air to Irish audiences.
RTÉ confirmed yesterday that this would not be the end either with live coverage on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player confirmed for the Republic of Ireland’s home Euro 2021 Qualifiers against Montenegro on Tuesday 3rd September and Ukraine on Tuesday 8th October, both from Tallaght Stadium.
RTÉ will also have live coverage of the semi-finals and finals of the UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship on the RTÉ Player and the Republic of Ireland’s men’s UEFA U19 Championship group games against Norway on Monday 15th July, France on Thursday 18th July and the Czech Republic on Sunday 21st July on RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player.
RTÉ2 & RTÉ Player will continue live coverage the Republic of Ireland’s Men’s UEFA U19 Championships campaign should they qualify for the knockout stages with the final on RTÉ Player* on Sunday 28 July.
RTÉ will also have live coverage of Dundalk v Riga FC in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round first leg this Wednesday 10th July plus the Republic of Ireland’s European Qualifiers for Euro 2020 against Switzerland on Thursday 5th September, Georgia on Saturday 12th October, Switzerland on Tuesday 15th October and Denmark on Monday 18th November.
Join us throughout this week as we look back on other areas of the tournament and the likely impact on the game.