Simmons thanks London 2012 for healthy state of women's game

27 October 2014 / 16:03

FA director Kelly Simmons believes the women’s game has never been in a better position – and the London 2012 Olympics have played a major part.

Simmons oversees the development of women's football in the UK and is eagerly anticipating next month’s groundbreaking match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium.

Wembley holds happy memories for England’s women with Steph Houghton scoring the winner as Team GB beat Brazil 1-0 at the ground during the London 2012 Olympics.

Team GB soon came crashing back down the earth in their very next game however as they lost a quarter-final clash 2-0 to eventual bronze medallists Canada.

And, while admitting that she looks back on the Olympics with mixed feelings, Simmons’ admits the Games’ impact on the women’s game cannot be underestimated.
"While it was a disappointment, we definitely benefited from the Olympics," she said. "The FA board have always said since the Olympics that they were really keen to bring women's football back.

"We felt our best chance to get a really good crowd at Wembley and make it a real spectacle would be to try to get world-class opposition. Germany are ranked No.2 but many would think of them as the best team in the world.

"Every time it gets compared to men's football it's a challenge because that's a 150-year-old, multi-billion-pound industry and it's by far and away our national game.

"But if you compare women's football to other female sports then I guess we're doing quite well. We've come a long way from where it was three years ago, where it was like families and the pet dog."

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