Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium has been confirmed as the venue for the opening match of UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 as the English Football Association (FA) looks to break the attendance record for the national team tournament.
United’s 74,879-seat stadium will host England’s first match on July 7 next year. The FA said the fixture will offer the chance to break the attendance record for a Women’s Euro match.
The record for a Women’s Euro match is 41,301, which was set at the final of Sweden’s hosting of the tournament in 2013.
After opening the tournament at Old Trafford, hosts England will then play group-stage matches at Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium and Southampton’s St. Mary’s Stadium.
Wembley Stadium had already been confirmed as the destination for the final of UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 and the match will take place on August 1, just over a year after the stadium hosts the final of the men’s tournament.
England head coach Phil Neville, who spent 10 years as a player at United, said: “It doesn’t get much bigger than managing your country at a home Euro and to have the opportunity to do so at a stadium that holds so many memories for me is huge.
“Old Trafford has a special place in my heart, but it’s also one of the country’s most iconic football grounds, so this announcement is a significant one for the tournament. I’m looking forward to kicking off our campaign in Manchester and to offering fans across the country the chance to watch the elite women’s game on home turf next summer.”
Over 700,000 tickets have made been made available for the 16-team tournament. Other host venues include Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane, Brentford Community Stadium, Leigh Sports Village, Manchester City Academy Stadium, Rotherham United’s New York Stadium and MK Dons’ Stadium MK.
Nadine Kessler, head of women’s football at UEFA, added: “This is exactly what we aim for, it’s a big signal that we start at Old Trafford and end at Wembley.
“We have set a great foundation to not just deliver a major international event, but also to use this Women’s Euro more than ever before to leave a legacy that is pan-European, not only in England, but across our members to spread the greatness of women’s football and get more girls playing across Europe.”
The 2017 edition of the Women’s Euro was held in the Netherlands, with the host nation defeating Denmark 4-2 in the final.