EA Sports recently announced that for the first time ever, Women’s National Teams are in the FIFA video game franchise. Introduced as a groundbreaking new feature in the upcoming FIFA 16, it is now possible to choose to play with a Women’s National Teams in several game modes. FIFA players will have a choice of 12 different Women’s National Teams, and will be able to compete in Match Day, an Offline Tournament, and Online Friendly Matches. The twelve teams are Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, USA, Australia and Brazil. Some of the women superstars in the game include USA’s Alex Morgan and England’s Stephanie Houghton. It is an important and necessary introducing into the FIFA franchise, and one that will hopefully expand and develop in the years to come.
Over the last few years, Women’s Football all over the world has greatly increased in participation and popularity. Whereas beforehand the Women’s game suffered from under-representation and inequality, it seems like in recent times these matters have finally started to progress and effect change in a positive way. Thanks to the introduction of the FA’s Women’s Super League and UEFA Women’s Champions League (as well as the increased television exposure and airtime from the BBC, Sky Sports and BT Sport), Women’s Football in England and across Europe has expanded rapidly and recruited many new fans.
On top of important steps taken this year such as England Women’s first ever match at Wembley against Germany in November 2014, and hosting the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley for the very first time in August this year (and airing it live on BBC One), the inclusion of Women’s National Teams into the FIFA franchise is another very important step in the development of the Women’s game. Though it is easy to dismiss the importance of the FIFA franchise in the real footballing world, it is undeniable that a video game of such popularity has the influence and power to break barriers, diminish stereotypes and bring the footballing community closer together. Let’s hope this is just one of many positive steps to come in the future.