|1979 Coppa Europa per Nazioni|
|Dates||19 July - 27 July (8 days)|
|Goals scored||40 (2.5 per match)|
The 1979 European Competition for Women's Football was a women's football tournament contested by European nations. It took place in Italy from 19 to 27 July 1979.
Women's association football, also commonly known as women's football or women's soccer is the most prominent team sport played by women around the globe. It is played at the professional level in numerous countries throughout the world and 176 national teams participate internationally.
The tournament featured 12 teams, with games staged in Naples and Rimini. Considered unofficial because it was not run under the auspices of UEFA, it was a precursor to the UEFA Women's Championship. Denmark won the tournament, beating hosts Italy 2–0 in the final at Stadio San Paolo.
Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents. Its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.
Rimini is a city of 150.590 inhabitants in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and capital city of the Province of Rimini. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, on the coast between the rivers Marecchia and Ausa. It is one of the most famous seaside resorts in Europe, thanks to its 15-kilometre-long (9 mi) sandy beach, over 1,000 hotels, and thousands of bars, restaurants and discos. The first bathing establishment opened in 1843. An art city with ancient Roman and Renaissance monuments, Rimini is the hometown of the famous film director Federico Fellini as well.
The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are primarily or entirely located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.
Economically, the tournament was not a success:
|“||The 1979 Italian tournament is often cited as being financially disastrous, but it was not so for the participating teams. Rather, the hosts bore the costs, but the financial problems affected the organization of the competition.||”|
In the late 1970s the issue of international tournaments for women's football teams was contentious. The international governing body International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) refused several requests to sanction independently organised tournaments, declaring that such matters "were only possible through the National Association and the Confederations." Writing in 2007, Jean Williams observed that "The fact that they had been busy not organising these events seems to have escaped [FIFA's] notice.According to Williams, FIFA's bureaucratic suppression of women's football was becoming unsustainable: "By the 1970s it simply wasn't a viable option for FIFA to ignore women playing the game and hope that they would go away."
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991.
Jean Williams is a British sports historian and author specialising in Women's history; sport and literature; sportswear and motorsport. Having previously taught English for a decade, Williams is a senior research fellow at the International Centre for Sport History and Culture, De Montfort University. She also acts as a historical consultant to the National Football Museum, particularly for elections to the English Football Hall of Fame. Though mainly known for her work on women’s football, Williams has produced a range of material on the history of sports and the social contexts of events: these include articles on a collection of early modern sporting poems and 1950s British Bridge to a chapter on the Indianapolis 500 motor race in the United States. Williams has also looked at women’s motor racing for a special edition on Britain’s motorists published in 2014. In terms of public history, Williams is very interested in the midlands, writing of Leicestershire cricketer George Geary for Our Sporting Life, an exhibition held at Curve Theatre in February 2011.
The European Confederation, Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), displayed little enthusiasm for women's football and were particularly hostile to Italy's independent women's football federation. Sue Lopez, a member of England's squad, contended that a lack of female representation in UEFA was a contributory factor:
Sue Lopez, is an English former international footballer. She spent her entire club career with Southampton, except for a season in Italy's Serie A with Roma in 1971. A leading advocate of the women's game in England, Lopez has also worked as a coach, administrator and writer since her retirement from playing.
|“||In 1971, UEFA had set up a committee for women's football, composed exclusively of male representatives, and by the time this committee folded in 1978 they had failed to organise any international competitions.||”|
At a conference on 19 February 1980 UEFA resolved to launch its own competition for women's national teams.The meeting minutes had registered the 1979 competition as a "cause for concern".
The UEFA European Women's Championship, also called the UEFA Women's Euro and unofficially the "European Cup", held every fourth year, is the main competition in women's association football between national teams of the UEFA Confederation. The competition is the women's equivalent of the UEFA European Championship.
Minutes, also known as minutes of meeting, protocols or, informally, notes, are the instant written record of a meeting or hearing. They typically describe the events of the meeting and may include a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues.
The top team in each group advanced to the semi-finals.
| Italy ||4–0|
| Morace |
| Denmark ||3–1|
| Niemann |
| DBU Report (in Danish)|
Report (in French)
| Farrugia |
|25 July – Naples|
|28 July – Naples|
|25 July – Rimini|
|27 July – Naples|
After a goalless first half, Denmark took the lead 10 minutes into the second period through 18–year–old striker Lone Smidt Hansen (who later became Lone Smidt Nielsen through marriage).Inge Hindkjær secured Denmark's victory with her fourth goal of the tournament, four minutes from full-time. After the tournament, the Danish Football Association (DBU) were subject to media criticism for their failure to properly develop women's football.
| European Competition for Women's Football |
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