Women's football celebrated its true coming of age in November of 1991 when the Women's World Championship was brought to life on the ambitious initiative of Dr. João Havelange, FIFA President at that time.
The first competition kicked off in the People’s Republic of China to large and enthusiastic crowds. With twelve nations competing, it proved to be a resounding success.
In keeping with the true spirit of the celebration, six female referees or assistant referees were appointed among match officials for the first time in FIFA history. Claudia de Vasconcelos of Brazil, the referee for the 3rd-place match, became the first woman to officiate at this level for FIFA.
The final FIFA Women’s World Cup of the century launched the beginning of a new era of success for women’s football and was a milestone in the history of women’s sports.
For three solid weeks, three hundred and twenty of the best female football players in the world gathered across the United States to stage an event of unprecedented proportions. The tournament was played in huge stadiums for the first time, and new heights were reached for attendance, media coverage and television audiences.