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31st Jul 2022

Alex Scott and Ian Wright call out those ‘not brave enough’ to back women’s football

Patrick McCarry

Alex Scott

“We were begging people to host, in their stadiums, a women’s game in the Euros.”

England are the champions of Europe after beating Germany 2-1, following extra time, in the Women’s Euro 2022 final, in front of more than 87,000 fans at Wembley. Alex Scott and Ian Wright both spoke superbly after Sarina Wiegman’s side lifted their first ever major trophy.

Chloe Kelly proved the winner for England with a well-timed first ever international goal. Her jubilant, crazy post-match interview summed up the scenes of sheer elation for the English players and supporters.

Following the game, BBC host Gabby Logan looked back on the journey this England team, and women’s football in the country, have been on, in the company of former player Alex Scott, Arsenal legend Ian Wright and current Arsenal Women’s boss Jonas Eidevall

“I can’t even tell you, and put into words, the amount of work that has gone into this,” declared Wright. “I can’t believe it. I’m so proud of this team.”

“This is a dream, Gabby,” said Scott. “An absolute dream for every young girl that ever dreamt of playing football. This is incredible.”

The BBC then did the rounds, talking to victorious England players such as captain Leah Williamson, Ellen White, Jill Scott, and more. When the broadcast returned to the gantries, and the enormity of the English triumph had taken hold, both Wright and Scott had plenty to say on those that had not fully backed women’s football in the country.

Alex Scott

Alex Scott sends out reminder to those that did not back women’s football

After Gabby Logan teed up Alex Scott with the line that she, as a former England international and someone that trod the hard path, and paid for her own kit, the former Arsenal defender paid tribute to all that helped grow the women’s game.

“There have been so many people that have been involved to get women’s football to this point, to lift this trophy,” she said.

“This is what we’ve all been waiting on, and dreaming about. The amount of investment that has gone into the women’s game, to make it what it is.” Alex Scott added:

“In 2018, we were begging people to host, in their stadiums, a women’s game for this Euros. So many people said ‘No’.

“I hope you’re all looking at yourselves right now, because you weren’t brave enough [back then]… I was saying it yesterday, I’m not standing up at corporate events any more and begging for clients and people to get involved in the women’s game. Because, you know what, if you’re not involved, you’ve missed the boat; you’ve missed the train. It has finally left the station and it is gathering speed!”

Ian Wright calls for WSL improvements, to get more fans to stadiums

Ian Wright was equally passionate about using this European Championship to build on the success of the England team, and grow even more.

“You want to see people going to the Women’s Super League games and it being easier to go to them,” he said.

“You’ve got the first WSL game of the season and Arsenal are playing Chelsea at 7 o’clock on as Sunday night, and it’s on television. That’s not going to encourage people to get there… we’ve got to make it easier to get people into stadiums to see the players they are watching here.”

The mood is high right now, and understandably so. It is the perfect time to double down on this Euro 2022 success and use it as a launchpad for grassroots growth and even more improvements to club football, at all levels.

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