New cup competition ‘significant step forward for women’s football in Scotland’

The Scottish Football Association is to launch a new national women’s cup competition with both semi-finals and final taking place at Hampden Park next year.

The governing body is looking to “provide a compelling national cup competition commensurate with the new-look Scottish Women’s Premier League competitions”, which kick off this weekend.

The national stadium has become the new home of the Scotland women’s national team (SWNT) and will now host three prestigious domestic cup matches in 2023.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “This has been a momentous week for women’s football across Europe due to the record-breaking success of the UEFA Women’s Euros.

“My congratulations go to the Lionesses and the friends and colleagues at the English FA for the historic achievement.

“The power of football has no border, and we will be inspired by the achievements of the Lionesses, just as many girls and women in Scotland will have been inspired by the players on show throughout the tournament.

“I know this will also refocus the efforts of Pedro Martinez Losa and his players to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup.

“The creation of a new national cup competition is another significant step forward for women’s football in Scotland and we look forward to working with clubs, broadcast and commercial partners to create something special 50 years on from the first-ever SWNT match and as we look forward to celebrating 150 years of our national game.

The Scottish FA's Head of Girls’ and Women’s Football Fiona McIntyre is pictured at Hampden Park. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“I would like to thank SWF (Scottish Women’s Football) for their drive in helping to raise the standards of girls’ and women’s football and look forward to working collaboratively with SWF and the SWPL with the common aim of enabling every girl and woman in Scotland to access our national game and realise their dreams within it.”

Fiona McIntyre, SWPL managing director and outgoing SFA head of girls’ and women’s football, said: “This announcement is another significant milestone on an exciting journey for women’s football at elite level in Scotland.

“Tomorrow, we will formally launch the new SWPL, complete with new brand identity and vision, ahead of the weekend’s kick-off.

“At a time when Scottish football prepares to celebrate its rich history, both in the men’s and women’s games, it is appropriate that we commit collectively to bold new competitions that reflect the progress and ambitions for women’s football.

“Having witnessed England’s success in the UEFA Women’s Euro final, and worked closely with European football’s governing body to implement their learnings and best practice across my remit at the Scottish FA and now SWPL, I believe today’s announcement is another monumental moment for women’s football in Scotland.”

Vivienne MacLaren, Chair of Scottish Women’s Football, added: “We all want the same thing – the progression of women’s football in Scotland.

“There have been some really positive steps taken across the game and it’s important we capitalise on the collective enthusiasm and momentum.

“We are proud to have played our part and will continue to do so, in partnership with the Scottish FA, SWPL and anyone who has the best interests of the sport we all love at heart.”

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