Women's football in Scotland

Last updated
Women's football in Scotland
Governing body Scottish Women's Football
National team(s) Women's national team
National competitions
International competitions

Women's association football is a largely amateur sport in Scotland, given the greater emphasis of the male competitions. [1] [2] [3] [4] As in the men's game, the women's league structure consists of a Premier League and a Football League with Divisions One and Two, but the second division is split into North, West, East, and South East regions. In the women's SFL, reserve and youth squads may compete as long as they do not compete in the same division as the titular club. The team that wins the Premier League title qualifies for the following season's UEFA Champions League. There are also four cup competitions, the Scottish Cup, Scottish Premier League Cup, Scottish First Division Cup and the Scottish Second Division Cup.

Womens association football association football when played by women

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.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

The Scottish Women's Premier League (SWPL) is the highest level of league competition in women's football in Scotland. The league consists of two divisions, SWPL 1 and SWPL 2, each with eight teams and is owned and managed by Scottish Women's Football. The league was formed in 2002 when the Premier Division of the Scottish Women's Football League (SWFL) broke away to form the SWPL. Initially operating as a single division of twelve teams, the current format was introduced in 2015 with the creation of SWPL 2.


Scottish Women's Football are in sole charge of women's football in Scotland. [5]

Scottish Women's Football (SWF), formerly the Scottish Women’s Football Association (SWFA), is the governing body for women's association football in Scotland, and an affiliated national association of the Scottish Football Association (SFA). The SWFA was founded in 1972, when four teams met and decided to form an Association.


Scotland first played a women's international match in May 1881. [6] Women's football struggled for recognition during this early period and was banned by the football authorities in 1921. [6] Club sides who were interested in using their grounds for women's football were subsequently denied permission by the Scottish Football Association (SFA). [6] The sport continued on an unofficial basis until the 1970s, when the ban was lifted. [7] [6] In 1971 UEFA instructed its members to take control of women's football within their territories. The motion was passed 31–1, but Scotland was the only member to vote against it. [8] Football in Scotland has traditionally been seen as a working class and male preserve. [2]

Scottish Football Association governing body of association football in Scotland

The Scottish Football Association, is the governing body of football in Scotland and has the ultimate responsibility for the control and development of football in Scotland. Members of the SFA include clubs in Scotland, affiliated national associations as well as local associations. It was formed in 1873, making it the second oldest national football association in the world. It is not to be confused with the "Scottish Football Union", which is the name that the SRU was known by until the 1920s.

UEFA international sport governing body

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.

Association football is one of the national sports of Scotland and the most popular sport in the country. There is a long tradition of "football" games in Orkney, Lewis and southern Scotland, especially the Scottish Borders, although many of these include carrying the ball and passing by hand, and despite bearing the name "football" bear little resemblance to association football.

In 1971 the Scottish Women's Football Association (SFWA) was founded and six teams registered for competition: Aberdeen, Edinburgh Dynamos, Westthorn United, Motherwell AEI, Dundee Strikers and Stewarton and Thistle. In 1972–73 Westthorn Utd won the first league title. Having played their first official internationaöl match and two teams reaching the final of the English FA Women's Cup in 1972 and 1973 the SFA lifted the ban and recognised the SWFA in August 1974. Since then the SWFA has been renamed Scottish Women's Football Ldt (SWF). The Scottish Women's Football League (SWFL) formed in November 1999 and in 2002–03 the Premier Division broke away to form the Premier League (SWPL). [9]

Scottish League winners were:

League system

In 2016, the Premier League was reduced from 12 to 8 eight teams but expanded to a second level. In 2017, the SWFL 2 changed from 4 to 3 regions.

The pyramid is over 4 tiers:




Scottish Women's Premier League
(Scottish Building Society)
8 clubs playing 21 games - 1 relegation


Scottish Women's Premier League 2
(Scottish Building Society)
8 clubs playing 21 games - 1 promotion


SWFL Division 1 – North
12 clubs playing 22 games - 1 promotion

SWFL Division 1 – South
12 clubs playing 22 games - 1 promotion


SWFL Division 2 – West
12 clubs playing 22 games

SWFL Division 2 – Central
12 clubs playing 22 games

SWFL Division 2 – East
12 clubs playing 22 games

Highlands and Islands League
(Outside the current pyramid) [15]
8 clubs playing 14 games

Senior team

Scotland's first official match, a 3–2 defeat to England, took place in November 1972. The team was managed by Rab Stewart. The 1921 ban on women's football was lifted in 1974. The SFA assumed direct responsibility for Scottish women's football in 1998. [2]

The Scottish government in 2013 promised to increase funding for the Women's national team. [16] Scotland women's national football team qualified for their first major tournament Euro 2017. [17] 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup will the first time the Womens team have qualified for a world cup. [18]

See also

Related Research Articles

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