Women's football - hot or not?

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The FA Women's Cup Final, which took place at Pride Park, Derby County FC in May, culminated in victory for Arsenal against Sunderland. It was their fourth consecutive win. The FA Women's Cup was founded back in 1972, but it's only since 1993, when the Women's Premier League was created, that the number of players around the country has increased. Since then, the number of female footballers has increased from 10,400 to around 150,000. The sport is rapidly gaining popularity around the world with some 4.1million women playing affiliated football.

So it's clear that women are interested in playing football, but why is there so little interest in watching the sport? The first clue to its lack of followers is that the final is taking place in Derby, whereas the men's equivalent usually takes place in Wembley Stadium. The tickets for the women's match are a mere £5, but if you want to see the men's FA Cup Final, you might find yourself paying up to £1,000. The women's game, like the men's, has sponsorship, but female footballers are not able to become full-time professionals commanding 6-figure salaries - most have to fit their team commitments around other jobs.

Maybe people do not really associate women with football - apart from as WAGs, which isn't helpful for female players. When I was at school, I wasn't allowed to play football - it was a boy's game and girls played netball. So maybe attitudes have yet to change. But these days as well as the many women's clubs and players, there are also female club owners (Delia Smith) and female commentators (Jacqui Oatley). Women like football and want to participate in the game, and as much as women's football has grown, there is still a long way for it to go.

ITV1 and Setanta Sports cover the matches but you won't see them on the BBC. Do you enjoy watching women's football or have you no time for it? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

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