The women’s game has come a long way in the past few decades. Women’s leagues are flourishing, and more Americans are watching soccer than ever before. But while the future of American soccer looks bright, there are still plenty of promising women’s leagues around the world that deserve attention. Here are four you should know about:
Scottish Women’s Premier League
The Scottish Women’s Premier League is the top level of women’s football in Scotland. It was formed in 2013 and acts as a semi-professional league, but it still has some way to go before it can claim to be one of the best in Europe. The Scottish league has been running for two years now, with Glasgow City winning both titles so far (2014–15).
The SWPL is growing at a steady rate and is already attracting some great players from around Scotland as well as other countries. Teams such as Celtic FC and Hibernian FC have taken part this season too—which shows that there are more teams than just Glasgow City who are willing to invest time into their female sides.
Finland Naisten Liiga
The Finland Naisten Liiga is the highest division of women’s football in Finland. It was founded in 1990 and currently contested by 10 teams. The competition has been sponsored since 2012 by Nordea, a Finnish financial services group that has been Finland’s largest bank since 1992.
The reigning champions are FC Honka, who won their third title in May 2019 following a 1-0 victory over HJK Helsinki at Sonera Stadium in Sonera Stadium on 19 May 2019.
Finland have achieved some notable successes on the international stage; they finished as runners-up at UEFA Women’s Euro 2005 and again at UEFA Women’s Euro 2009 after losing both finals to Germany by 1–2 and 3–5, respectively. In addition to these two appearances in the final, Finland has qualified for every European Championship except for 1995 when it failed to qualify because Scotland withdrew from hosting due to lack of funds.
Nigeria Women Premier League
Nigeria Women Premier League, founded in 2018, is the top-flight women’s football league in Nigeria. It is contested by 8 teams and runs from October to December every year. The league winners qualify for the CAF Women’s Champions League and are also eligible to take part in continental competitions organized within CAF region.
The teams who have won this competition include Rangers International Football Club Fc (2 Times), Rivers Angels Fc (1 Time) and Sunshine Queens Football Club (1 Time).
Mexico LIGA MX Femenil
- Liga MX Femenil was introduced as a competitive league in 2017.
- Teams are made up of 18-20 year olds.
- The players come from the women’s national team, men’s national team, and second division men’s teams.
Now women’s leagues are thriving.
As you may have heard, women’s leagues are growing. And it’s not just a myth: in the past few years alone, they’ve become more popular, more professional, more competitive and diverse.
And that’s not all. Women’s leagues are also becoming more accessible and sustainable—to use two buzzwords that would send my mom into a fit of high-pitched panic if I were to utter them out loud (but which I use here unapologetically).
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of the most exciting women’s leagues around the world. It’s a great time to be a female soccer fan, and we’re excited to see how far they can go.