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Did you know...
Italian sports club, Ruco Line Lazio, was founded in 1969, and became part of the Polisportiva S.S. Lazio in 1975. It is the oldest female Italian club and it has always been in the A Series National League, winning several titles throughout its history. In addition, the club takes part in the juvenile sector with its youth team, and has won 7 Italian titles in the junior category.

Making marvellous strides
Women's football moving into the 21st century

A proposal by the Norwegian association's delegate, Ellen Wille, at the 45th FIFA Congress in Mexico City in 1986 acted as a torch, which lit the way for a movement that serves as a shining example of FIFA's readiness for change. On behalf of her association and all women footballers, Ellen Wille impressed upon FIFA that more should be done to further women's football and unfold the latent potential in this sector of the game.

Women only was the order of the day for the play-off for third place in China: referee Claudia de Vasconcelos from Brazil supervising the choice of sides with Pia Sundhage (Sweden, on left) and Marion Isbert (Germany).
Photo FIFA
To the surprise of one or two male delegates present, the reply resounded more clearly and firmly than anyone had expected. Presiding over the debates at the Congress, Joăo Havelange not only agreed entirely with the Norwegian female representative but also assured her that he personally would back the women's football movement, setting up an ad hoc committee as the first step.

Havelange and General Secretary Blatter were serious about supporting the women's sector. As a Iong-serving member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Havelange had seen for himself how women had been given the opportunity to compete as equals in a variety of Olympic disciplines to the sheer delight of the crowds. It was only a question of time before women would be beating the drum for their own world football tournament. If football genuinely intended to achieve universal appeal, it could not turn its back on the female half of the world's population. Following the FIFA President's consent, the women's football scene in pioneering countries such as Norway, Sweden, Germany, Italy and the USA - where 40 percent of all the players enrolled in clubs are girls and women - was given a shot in the arm. The prospects of a world championship afforded women's football an arena that would highlight the attractiveness and style of this type of football. In any case, it was high time to snuff out any remaining prejudice, which, although unfounded, would still be difficult to eradicate.

Media Releases
The first FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship is well underway
Women's competitions in 2002 and 2003 take shape
FIFA Player of the Year
 1. Mia Hamm
 2. Sun Wen
 3. Tiffeny Milbrett
 Coaches voting: 72
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