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Women’s Euro surpasses tournament attendance record

England’s staging of the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro continues to set new attendance benchmarks after yesterday’s (Thursday’s) games saw the tournament surpass the event’s total record attendance, with 15 matches still to play.

The previous total attendance record, 240,055 set at the 2017 finals in the Netherlands, was passed during the 8pm GMT game between France and Belgium.

Prior to kick-off a total of 239,902 fans had attended the first 15 matches in England, with the crowd of 8,173 at the New York Stadium in Rotherham taking the 2022 finals to a total of 248,075 with 15 games remaining.

The average attendance across the 16 games to date is 15,505 meaning that Euro 2022 is well on course to break this record, which currently stands at 9,000 (four matches) for the tournament in West Germany in 1989 and 8,676 (25 matches) for the 2013 Euro in Sweden.

The attendance records come with tournament organisers having attracted criticism ahead of the event for a perceived lack of ambition in the stadia chosen. Other host venues for this year’s Women’s Euro are Wembley Stadium, Manchester United’s Old Trafford, Brighton’s Amex Stadium, Brentford Community Stadium, Manchester City Academy Stadium, Stadium MK, Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane, Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium and Leigh Sports Village.

Euro 2022 began setting records as a crowd of 68,871 turned out for the opening game on July 6 as England defeated Austria 1-0 at Old Trafford. The game set a new attendance record for a Women’s Euro match, beating the previous record of 41,301, which was set when Germany defeated Norway in the 2013 final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.

The previous record for a group game was 29,092, which was set during England’s 3-2 win against Finland at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium in 2005.

Another record fell two days later as 16,819 watched Spain beat Finland in Milton Keynes, the most ever at a game not involving the host nation, other than a final. That record stood for all of 24 hours, until 21,342 fans were in place in Sheffield for Netherlands vs Sweden.

The record for a single game is likely to be broken again when Wembley hosts the final on July 31, with all tickets already sold out.

The highest ever attendance for a women’s football match is 91,648, which was set in April as Barcelona defeated Wolfsburg 5-1 in the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final first leg at the Camp Nou.