Spain’s record crowd for women’s football

TENS of thousands of female football fans turned up last week to watch Athletic Bilbao and Atlético Madrid meet in Bilbao’s San Mamés stadium, and, unknowingly creating records at the same time

It was a great success for the women’s game in Spain, and even players from other teams in the Iberdrola League, the country’s First Division competition, remarked on the breath-taking 48,121 attendance on social media.

The teams were battling for a semi-final place in the Copa de la Reina, the equivalent of the men’s Copa del Rey.

Atlético won 2-0, thanks to midfielders Ángela Sosa, who scored in the first half, and Aurélie Kaci, who clinched the match in the 94th minute.

The event marked a milestone for women’s football in Spain, because, despite the excitement built up ahead of the clash, no one expected such a high attendance.

No other stadium in Spain has seen so many spectators for a women’s sporting event, and the mighty attendance was 8,000 more than the numbers turning up for the Athletic Bilbao against Real Betis in a La Liga match last Sunday.

In fact, it was the largest crowd seen at the stadium. The women’s attendance breaks the previous record, also set in Bilbao, by 12,000 people. In 2003, in their former stadium, 36,000 spectators watched Athletic beat Seville’s Hispalis 5-1.

What’s more, the 48,000-strong crowd is the second-largest ever to attend a women’s football game worldwide.

The attendance has been beaten only by the 51,211 people who turned out to see the Monterrey-Tigres game in the Mexican League last year.

The last three finals of the women’s Champions League would need to be totted up to come close to the turn-out at San Mamés. And, to add to the gloss, this record was set on a rainy, miserable night in the middle of winter.

Athletic Bilbao are one of the clubs to invest most in women’s soccer. The club invited more than 100 women to last week’s match, including former players, and people from various fields of politics and sports, and even Basque Premier Iñigo Urkullo was there. Yet the stands did not fill up until 15 minutes into the game.

When Catalan referee Acevedo Dudley gave Atlético midfielder Kenti Robles a red card, preventing her from playing in the second half, it spelled the end of her team’s dream.

Yet the team pressed hard and had their opportunities, but rivals Athletic prevailed in the end.

But the most talked-about subject, then and for many weeks, will surely be the astonishing crowd figures!


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Posted by on Feb 8 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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