The 2022 Women’s European Championship kicks off Wednesday, with England set to host the tournament for the first time since 2005.
With more than 500,000 tickets already sold – including a sellout in England’s opener Wednesday against Austria at Old Trafford and the Wembley final – the tournament is set to shatter the attendance record of 240,000 set in the Netherlands four years ago.
UEFA said Friday that roughly 20 percent of ticket purchases came from outside England. The tournament is expected to draw attendees from at least 99 countries.
The Euros are set to continue what already has been a big year for women’s soccer in Europe. Barcelona set a world record in attendance for a women’s game as 91,648 attended the first leg of the team’s Champions League semifinal at Camp Nou. The record previously was set in 1999 in the final of the Women’s World Cup.
In France, 43,254 turned out to watch Paris Saint-Germain play in the Champions League semifinal against Lyon, setting a record. Additionally, England’s club attendance record was broken in the FA Cup final at Wembley as 49,094 attended the match between Chelsea and Manchester City.
🤩 It's #WEURO2022 matchweek 🤩Who are you backing? pic.twitter.com/xu2Iokg43k— UEFA Women's EURO 2022 (@WEURO2022) July 4, 2022
🤩 It's #WEURO2022 matchweek 🤩Who are you backing? pic.twitter.com/xu2Iokg43k
England enters the tournament as one of the favorites, as the team not only has home-field advantage on its side but also an unbeaten record under head coach Sarina Wiegman, who was appointed in September 2021.
After reaching the semifinals in each of the last three tournaments, this could be the year England finally breaks through to the final.
Spain was among the favorites, but Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas tore her ACL in a Tuesday training session. The loss of Putellas in addition to the absence of top goalscorer Jennifer Hermoso – who suffered knee ligament damage earlier this month and was ruled out of the tournament – could spell trouble for Spain.
The return of Ada Hegerberg to the Norwegian national team has boosted that squad heading into the tournament, while Vivianne Miedema will be one to watch for the Dutch national team.
Group A: England, Austria Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
*All times listed in ET.