England

Bulgaria hit with partial stadium closure for England game

The Bulgarian FA have been ordered to block off 5,000 seats after its supporters were found guilty of racist behaviour. England are set to play their 2020 European Championships qualifying match against Bulgaria in front of a reduced crowd. Bulgaria have been hit with a partial stadium closure by UEFA after their supporters were found guilty of racist behaviour in their matches against Kosovo and the Czech Republic last month. The Bulgarian FA will be required to block off 5,000 seats for the visit of Gareth Southgate‘s side to the Vasil Levski National Stadium on October 14. The arena has a capacity of 46,340. The area of vacant seating will display a banner with the wording “#EqualGame”. Montenegro were forced by UEFA to play a match behind closed doors after England pl...

Phil Neville: ‘GB Olympic squad won’t just be England players’

England boss Phil Neville has stressed “everybody will be treated equally” when he selects the Great Britain squad for next summer’s Olympics. England finishing as one of the top three European teams at the Women’s World Cup secured qualification for Great Britain to take part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Neville has said he will be in charge of that side. “I can only pick 18 players for the Olympics,” Neville said. Great Britain last competed in the Olympics as hosts in 2012 (Andrew Matthews/PA) “We’ve got 23 players in this squad (England’s for the World Cup) so I’ve got to lose five players from this squad before I even start thinking about the home nations. “I’ve been watching the home nations players now for 18...

England international Nikita Parris joins Lyon

The 25-year-old had confirmed she would be leaving Manchester City. England Women forward Nikita Parris has been official confirmed as a Lyon player. The 25-year-old had announced before the Women’s World Cup she would be leaving Manchester City and then later revealed she was set to sign for the Champions League winners. Parris had helped the Lionesses reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in France, eventually losing to the United States, who would go on to retain the trophy with victory over Holland on Sunday. The forward posted pictures on social media of her holding up the Lyon shirt at the Groupama Stadium – which hosted Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final – and she is looking forward to the challenges ahead. “Happy to finally announce, what’s been known f...

Lucy Bronze: ‘Third place meant more to Sweden than England’

Lucy Bronze believes Saturday’s World Cup third-place play-off “clearly meant more” to Sweden than England and that the Lionesses had felt the greater disappointment of the two sides at missing out on the final. England lost the bronze-medal match in Nice 2-1, conceding twice in the opening 22 minutes before Fran Kirby reduced the deficit just after the half-hour mark. Ellen White thought she had equalised moments later but her strike was ruled out for handball following a VAR review. With a heavy heart we go home today. We fell short of our main objective, winning. But we’ve learnt more now than ever before. And we will make it to the top! Thank you everyone for all the support and messages through the tournament #Lionesses pic.twitter.com/kp35xMUOS8 — Lucy Bronze ...

FA looks at switching some WSL matches to Premier League stadia

A number of Women’s Super League matches could be played as double-headers alongside Premier League fixtures next season, according to one of the most senior figures in the English game. The Women’s World Cup has seen a groundswell of interest in the women’s game with 11.7million viewers tuning in to watch Phil Neville’s England side lose to the United States in their semi-final last Tuesday night. The aim is to build on that growth with the biggest WSL clashes of the 2019-20 season set to take place in stadiums usually reserved for respective male teams. But according to Kelly Simmons, the Football Association director of the women’s professional game, fixtures could also take place on the same day as Premier League matches to tap into the fanbase. “That will be tried as well,” she told B...

‘Nonsense game’ – But Neville insists England did not ‘disrespect’ Sweden match

Phil Neville stressed he was “not disrespecting anyone” as he sought to explain why he branded the Women’s World Cup third-place play-off that England lost to Sweden “a nonsense game”. The Lionesses missed out on bronze after being beaten 2-1 at Nice’s Allianz Riviera, where Sweden raced into a 2-0 lead through goals from Kosovare Asllani in the 11th minute and Sofia Jakobsson in the 22nd. England replied through Fran Kirby just after the half-hour mark and thought they had equalised two minutes later, only for Ellen White’s finish to be ruled out for handball following a VAR review. Lucy Bronze had a late strike cleared off the line as England failed to match their third-placed finish at Canada 2015. After the game, boss Neville said on BBC One: “Well done Sweden, but it is a nonsense gam...

Neville urges England to build on World Cup disappointment

Phil Neville challenged England to show the courage of champions and return stronger from their Women’s World Cup heartache after losing 2-1 against Sweden in the third-place play-off in Nice. The Lionesses showed a hangover from their semi-final defeat by the United States as Sweden raced into a 2-0 lead at the Allianz Riviera. Kosovare Asllani capitalised on a mistake from Alex Greenwood to open the scoring after 11 minutes, with a fine effort from Sofia Jakobsson doubling the lead. #SWE WIN THE 🥉!#ENGSWE 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇸🇪 pic.twitter.com/NF8hsfWnLd — FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) July 6, 2019 Fran Kirby pulled a goal back just after the half-hour mark and two minutes later the ball was in the Swedes’ net again courtesy of Ellen White, only for the effort to be ruled out for handball f...

Result: England lose out to Sweden in third-place play-off

England missed out on a third-placed finish at the Women’s World Cup as they were beaten 2-1 by Sweden in their play-off in Nice. Sweden raced into a 2-0 lead at the Allianz Riviera, with Kosovare Asllani firing in in the 11th minute after an Alex Greenwood error and Sofia Jakobsson adding a fine strike in the 22nd. Phil Neville’s Lionesses replied through Fran Kirby’s left-footed effort just after the half-hour mark and two minutes later the ball was in the Swedes’ net again courtesy of an Ellen White finish. We just couldn’t get it over the line 💔 Thank you for your support guys, you have been the best. pic.twitter.com/FwmD15r1Sf — Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 6, 2019 But, just had been the case in the 2-1 semi-final loss to the United States four days earlier, White had what she ha...

Former England winger Paula Milnes reminisces about non-FIFA World Cup in 1971

Paula Milnes admits her mind was taken back to the Azteca Stadium almost half a century earlier when she attended England’s World Cup semi-final against the United States on Tuesday. Milnes was a member of the unofficial England side that took part in a non-FIFA Women’s World Cup in Mexico in 1971. They played three times at the Azteca Stadium, including against the hosts in front of a crowd said to be around 90,000. Milnes – a 15-year-old winger known as Paula Rayner at the time, who scored in their opener against Argentina – and her 1971 team-mates have recently been reunited. And, through UEFA’s Together #WePlayStrong campaign, 11 of the 14-player squad were among the 53,512 attendance at Groupama Stadium on Tuesday. Milnes told PA: “It’s like we hadn’...

Jill Scott urges England to sign off with World Cup medal

England midfielder Jill Scott says low moments like Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final loss to the United States hurt more the older she gets – but she relishes the challenge of trying to lift herself and claim another bronze medal. After their bid for the trophy came to an end with a dramatic 2-1 defeat against the US in Lyon, the Lionesses are now in Nice preparing to face Sweden in Saturday’s third place play-off. Securing third spot would match their competition-best effort of 2015, when they followed up being beaten 2-1 by Japan with a 1-0 extra-time victory over Germany. Scott and England’s players were gutted (Richard Sellers/PA) Thirty-two-year-old Scott, for whom this is a fourth World Cup campaign, said: “I’ve been through a lot of these moments, unfortu...

Former England Women manager Mark Sampson joins Stevenage coaching team

Former England Women manager Mark Sampson has joined the coaching staff at Sky Bet League Two club Stevenage. The 36-year-old was sacked by the Football Association in September 2017 following the emergence of “inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour” in his previous role as manager at Bristol Academy. Sampson was dismissed one day after England beat Russia 6-0 following a previous safeguarding investigation into his time at Bristol, where he had a six-month relationship with a player aged over 18. He had also been the focus of bullying and racism claims, first made by Eni Aluko and then Drew Spence. The FA said the allegations were investigated and Sampson was cleared of any wrongdoing. But Sampson, who reached a financial settlement with the FA over his dismissal in January ...

Ellen White: ‘England must respond to semi-final heartache’

Ellen White says England have been hurting after their World Cup semi-final defeat but will be “putting everything” into Saturday’s third place play-off against Sweden. Having been beaten 2-1 by defending champions the United States in Lyon on Tuesday, the Lionesses are now in Nice preparing to face the Swedes at the Allianz Riviera. White, who scored her sixth goal of the tournament with a 19th-minute equaliser in Tuesday’s dramatic encounter, thought she had levelled things again midway through the second half, only for her finish to be ruled out on a marginal offside call following a VAR review. I have stayed off social media this tournament to focus solely on playing for my country 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Thank you for your unwavering support for this team ❤️ I AM ENGLAND TIL I...

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