The latest news from women’s football in the UK and around the rest of the world over the last week.
Lionesses shocked by yet another flight fiasco
The England Women are believed to be furious after striker Jodie Taylor was flown home by the Football Association in economy class seats, while Wales’ Jess Fishlock made the same flight in business class.
The ladies both play for Seattle Reign and were flying back to the UK for the upcoming World Cup qualifier between England and Wales at Southampton this Friday. The flights were paid for by their respective FA’s and the Lionesses players are said to be shocked by the way Taylor was treated in comparison to Fishlock.
After the SheBelieves Cup last month, Phil Neville revealed that his team had travelled in economy class seats throughout the tournament, despite Gareth Southgate’s men’s team travelling in either business or first-class on their journeys.
FWA Footballer of the Year shortlist dominated by English players
Five England players have been named on the shortlist for the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year.
The shortlist, selected by a 22-person judging panel, includes Chelsea’s Fran Kirby, Manchester City’s Isobel Christiansen, Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs, Lyon’s Lucy Bronze and Seattle Reign striker Jodie Taylor.
The FWA’s panel will meet again to decide on the winner, before revealing the final result at the Footballer of the Year dinner on May 10.
England Under-17s secure European Championship qualification
England Under-17s confirmed their place in the Under-17 European Championships on Saturday, following their victory over Norway on Saturday. Jessica Park opened the scoring for the Young Lionesses before an own-goal from Lotte Fikseth Fossen secured a 2-0 victory.
The tournament will be hosted by Lithuania and is to run from 9 to 21 May, with Germany, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain joining England in the competition.
The draw will take place at 8am this Friday, with the top three finishers in the finals automatically qualifying for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which is to be hosted by Uruguay later this year.
FA expect Team GB women’s side at 2020 Olympics
The FA has said that they are ‘confident’ that a women’s football side will represent Team GB at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo – for only the second time in history.
Alongside that, BBC Sport revealed that they understand that the Scottish FA would be against having Scots in a GB team but would not stand in the way of a squad of English women.
The FA also underlined their intentions to bid to host the 2021 European Championships. Austria and Hungary are the only other nations who are battling against England to stage the tournament.
BBC to show FA Cup semi-finals for the first time ever
The BBC has announced that they will be broadcasting both of this season’s Women’s FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in the history of the competition.
Everton and Arsenal face off in the first semi-final at 12:30 on 15 April, and it will be shown on the BBC Red Button service, online, and on BBC iPlayer. The second match sees the WSL 1’s top-two, Chelsea and Manchester City, go head-to-head, with their fixture to be broadcasted live on BBC 2 at 15:30 on the same day, where they do battle for a place in the final of the 48th edition of the cup.
Chelsea and City’s victories make Champions League history
Chelsea and Manchester City made history in the Champions League on Wednesday when they became the first two British sides to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League in the same year.
Emma Hayes’ Chelsea side comfortably made it through to the final four for the first time in the club’s history, with a double from Fran Kirby and a Ramona Bachmann goal, helping secure a 3-1 second leg win and a 5-1 victory on aggregate over Montpellier. The Blues will now play Wolfsburg after they defeated Slavia Prague 6-1 over the two legs.
Elsewhere, Manchester City also eased into the semi-finals of the competition, with a 5-3 win away to Linköpings, adding to their 2-0 home triumph over the Swedish champions a week earlier. City now face the daunting task of a final four match against holders Lyon, who edged past Barcelona with a 3-1 victory in their quarter-final tie.
On the back of two English sides making the semi-finals, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, said: “For so long we have been told English clubs can’t do it, because it is about the French teams and the German sides. It is a proud day for both Chelsea and City to progress to this level.
“I have got a tremendous club that back us in every quarter. I am so pleased to deliver that result. This is a celebration of how much clubs invest. They put a lot of money into it, but it is not just that.
“We wouldn’t make the semi-final if the recruitment wasn’t right, but equally with the development of the players who are here. It is the resources that provide the platform for the players to be successful.”