Congratulations to England’s Lionesses, winners of the 2022 European Championship!. 56 years since England’s last major tournament victory – the 1966 World Cup – this year’s Final was also against (West) Germany and went into extra time when the two teams were level after 90 minutes. Congratulations also to Beth Mead and Alexandra Popp, joint top scorers in the tournament, and to England’s Coach, Sarina Wiegman, who has now won the tournament twice, having first won in 2017 with her native Dutch team.
This tournament was notable for a number of reasons off the field, too.
The total prize money (Euro16M) was double the total from the last tournament in 2017. That prize money will be distributed 60% equally and 40% based on performance (including Euro100,00 per win). This distribution is part of UEFA’s 5-year Strategic Plan to increase the reach of women’s and girls’ soccer and grow the game in Europe to 2.5 million active participants.
UEFA also included a Club Benefits Programme similar to the one offered in the men’s game: European Clubs whose players were selected for national duty in EURO 2022 will receive a minimum of Euro10,000 per player, a sum that could grow depending on how long the player participated in the tournament. This programme not only rewards clubs for past investments in women’s and girls’ soccer, it also encourages them to invest further in the growing the game.
The 2022 tournament also set attendance records, most notably the 87,192 fans who watched the Final at Wembley but additionally at the group stage when 68,871 fans watched England play Austria at Manchester’s Old Trafford stadium.
There can be no doubting the commercial importance of women’s sport and its growing socio-economic impact.