Football fans around the country cheered on England as they played for a place in the final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but unfortunately it was not to be and Lionesses were defeated 2-1 by the eventual winners USA last Tuesday.
Nevertheless, sports pundits and fans applauded the women’s team for their valiant efforts throughout the month of June and early July, and the growing support for women’s football has become increasingly apparent.
The Women’s World Cup has been held, officially, since 1991, with the tournament played every four years. This year’s event saw 24 nations compete for the title after a three year-qualification period, with the games spread out over a month in several of the host nation’s venues. The 2019 tournament was hosted by France.
The trophy itself, which was lifted by the US team yesterday after a 2-0 win against the Netherlands, was first commissioned for the 1999 tournament. A spiral band or ribbon encloses a football at the top of the trophy, and a cone-shaped base was added in 2010, where all the names of the tournament’s past winning teams are engraved. It measures 47 centimetres in height and weighs around 4.6 kilograms. Constructed from sterling silver clad in white and yellow 23 carat gold, the trophy has a value of about $30,000.
The design of the trophy is said to encapsulate the dynamism, athleticism and elegance of women’s football, and unlike with the men’s trophy, a new one is made each time, so that the reigning champions can take home their engraved awards and keep them for posterity.