Great Britain women will go into the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo hoping to better their last appearance at London 2012, where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals. They qualified for this tournament thanks to England’s fourth-place finish in the Women’s World Cup in France in 2019.
However, the Lionesses went off the boil after the competition and embarked on a poor run of form in 2020. It could be time for the English ladies to bounce back and show their quality on the world stage once again, this time with the help of some of their Home Nations counterparts. The tournament could also serve as a way to attract more attention and supporters to the women’s game.
Could Great Britain win the competition?
Judging by the form of the Lionesses, who will make up the bulk of the Great Britain side, Team GB are unlikely to enter the tournament as favourites. Instead, USA will be the country most heavily backed to bring home the gold and add to the four golds and one silver they already have in the competition. Norway and Germany are the only other countries that have managed to win at the event.
The initial plan was for the England manager, Phil Neville, to manage the squad at the Olympics. However, the former Everton player has since taken a job at Inter Miami. It is now looking most likely that caretaker Lioness manager, Hege Riise, will be tasked with leading them in the competition. Riise will have a big task on her hands in restoring form to the side and inspiring them to bounce back after some recent hardships.
How have other industries helped to boost women’s football?
Women’s football has been steadily gaining traction since the first-ever Women’s World Cup was held in 1991. More than 1.19 billion people tuned in to the latest edition of the event, highlighting just how far the sport has come.
One of the biggest factors in helping this rise has been with the media helping to promote the sport more in an effort to shift towards equality between men and women in football. There is still a heavy bias in reporting on men’s football, but publications such as the Guardian have steadily increased their coverage of the women’s game in the last ten years.
The betting industry has also played a major role in boosting the sport, as women’s football provides a lucrative new avenue for bettors. Of course, a lot of people who stake money on the games also want to see how they play out, so this adds to the overall viewing figures.
Even online casinos are starting to broaden their offerings to women’s football betting now, with LeoVegas being a prime example of this. This is one of the sites recommended at bonus.ca, where players can find a 50 no deposit free spins bonus for Book of Dead. If more people cross over from online casino games to betting on women’s football, it is likely to propel the sport even further into the mainstream.
Expectations won’t be high for Team GB in the women’s football event at the Olympics this year, and they may be able to use that to their advantage. Indeed, under Riise they could be dark horses to claim a medal.