ONLY 31% of British women feel they’ll watch at least some of the Women’s World Cup this year, a new survey reveals.

Despite the rise in women’s professional football in the UK across competitions such as the Women’s World Cup and FA Women’s Super League, women’s engagement in the sport is still surprisingly low. Women are half as likely to engage with the women’s game as men are – with a staggering 18% compared to 36%.

Just 18% of females have ever been to watch a women’s game live, which is half the number of men, the survey has found.

In a poll commissioned by Powerleague, results show that 88% of British women have never played in a football team compared to 48% of men. In fact, 79% of British women have never played football and wouldn’t even consider it.

England defender and Manchester United skipper Alex Greenwood said: “I see myself as a role model and if I can get more girls playing, then I’ve definitely done my job. I think it’s fantastic that Powerleague are promoting women’s football. It encourages confidence if women know where they can go and play a game of football without being judged.

How would both sexes feel about playing on the same team? A fifth of women and a quarter of men felt that it would be uncomfortable according to the survey.

Women feared things like getting injured (36%), or lack of experience on the pitch and being able to read the game compared to men (31%). A third of women felt that they wouldn’t be taken seriously and a tenth feel that football isn’t a game for both sexes!

Women also believe that men play the game to a much higher standard, according to the study. Meanwhile, 11% of women think their standard of play is higher, and a quarter of Brits feel that both sexes are on the same level.

Just under a half of men (48%) also feel that they would be worried about hurting women on the pitch and feel that they would have to go in lighter for tackles. Over a quarter (26%) are concerned that female players would be rude and aggressive on the pitch!

View the full case study here to find out how we carried out this research and the coverage it generated.

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