Growing enthusiasm for women's professional sports

More and more people are rooting for professional female athletes in all kinds of sports, and fans are eagerly anticipating the Uefa European Women's Football Championship final on Sunday. Not only the members of the German and English teams that made it through to the final, but all professional female athletes should no longer be compared to their male counterparts but celebrated in their own right, commentators underline, pointing to signs of real change.

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The Guardian (GB) /

A great and distinct sport

Women's football should be celebrated as a phenomenon in its own right, says The Guardian:

“It is a different product, and in that respect it presents different opportunities. For a start, the women's game hasn't been corrupted by money, or mired in accusations of misconduct or toxic fan culture, and we can prevent it heading in the same direction as the men's game. It is also undeniably a more family-friendly environment, and it is a delight to see so many young women and girls in the crowds flocking to the Women's Euro. ... By positioning women's teams as some sort of spin-off of big Premier League clubs we're not really encouraging people to appreciate it as a 'great product' in its own right.”

La Tribune de Genève (CH) /

A historical turning point

La Tribune de Genève is thrilled:

“The performances in the semi-final matches of the UEFA Women's Euro are in no way inferior to those of the Super League. And in stadiums that are rarely this full in Switzerland. Crowds of spectators are also gathering along the route of the women's Tour de France - where until recently the same athletes passed by completely unrecognised. ... The beginning of the 2020s will go down in history as a decisive turning point for the legitimacy of women's professional sport. Or in other words, as a time when great dreams became reality.”

Irish Examiner (IE) /

Hitting a high

These are boom times for women's sports, the Irish Examiner comments enthusiastically:

“Ireland is the last of the Women's Six Nations countries to offer professional contracts to its players and the move is necessary if the game is to thrive here. It is long overdue. Together standing tall Women's sport is on a high right now and one of the great sporting successes of the summer has been the 2022 Uefa European Women's Championships in England, which has attracted huge crowds and television audiences. ... 'Football's coming home' has been a cliche for years as the English men's teams have struggled to win a major championship and there would be something deliciously ironic if they are beaten to that achievement by their female counterparts on Sunday.”