The real birth of the women's game began in the 1950's, as soccer became a popular game for girls, even in England. Meanwhile, there was a massive youth soccer movement in the United States. And girls were more than welcome, thank you. An unofficial European Championship was held in Germany in 1957. During the 1960s, eastern European communist countries encouraged women to participate in sports, including soccer. In 1969 the English FA lifted its ban on women's teams. And by 1971, there was organized women's soccer in some 34 countries. An unofficial World Championship was held in Mexico.
By 1991, 65 countries fielded women's teams, and FIFA staged an official Women's World Cup in China, although, at that time, FIFA was reluctant to use the term 'World Cup'. That first Women's World Cup was a tremendous success, with exciting games, a high level of play, capacity crowds, and a worldwide television audience.
In England, the English FA (Football Association) merged with the Women's FA and, ironically, the organization which had dealt the crushing blow to the women's game in 1921, had come full circle, and was actively promoting women's soccer, even if half-heartedly, at times.
A second women's World Cup was held in Sweden in 1995. Less successful than the first in terms of attendance, the second WWC did feature exciting games and a high level of play.
A major breakthrough for women's soccer came at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where women's soccer was included as a full medal sport for the first time. Crowds were very good; the level of play was, once again, very high, and several of the games were very exciting. The final, between the US and China, drew a crowd of 80,000 enthusiastic fans, the largest crowd ever to attend a women-only sporting event. Unfortunately, none of the games were televised in the US, although NBC did show small portions of the final. Nowadays Soccer is one of the most practiced Sport by Women.