1970 Women's World Cup Final (partially found footage of international football match; 1970)
The 1970 Women's World Cup Final culminated the first of two unofficial Women's World Cups established by the Federation of Independent European Female Football (FIEFF). Occurring on 15th July in front of around 35,000-40,000 fans at the Stadio Comunale, Denmark would go on to defeat hosts Italy 2-0 to claim the title.
While some sources indicate that the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the first global women's football tournament, the reality is the inaugural Women's World Cup occurred more than twenty years prior, albeit without FIFA support. Starting in 1968, the "Third Wave" of women's football began, which saw a surge in popularity as bans against the sport were lifted across the world and various organisations and individuals aimed to see it gain mainstream recognition and acceptance. Among the trailblazers was the Federazione Internazionale Europea di Football Femminile (FICF), which had organised the 1969 European Competition for Women's Football, well before the first UEFA-sanctioned European Championship held in 1984. In February 1970, the Federation of Independent European Female Football (FIEFF) was established, which quickly set out to produce the first Women's World Cup.
Neither FIFA nor UEFA were thrilled with the FIEFF's plans, with FIFA outright attempting to block the tournament. Despite FIFA's lack of support, the 1970 Women's World Cup would commence in Italy from 7th-15th July, thanks from backing by main sponsors Martini & Rossi, and extensive media reports and allowance to host games in large stadiums like the Stadio Comunale. Initial tournament plans had Argentina, Denmark, France, and Italy comprise "Group A", with "Group B" featuring Brazil, Czechoslovakia, England, and the Soviet Union. However, Argentina, Brazil, and the Soviet Union were later replaced by Austria, Switzerland, and Mexico, the latter now the only non-European team in the competition. West Germany and Sweden were selected as reserve teams, with the former replacing France pre-tournament. Amazingly, the West Germans were officially forbidden to play football in their own country, as a DFB ban enforced from 1955 was not lifted until three months post-tournament.
The 1970 Women's World Cup proved a commercial hit, boosted by significant praise by Italian publications. In the Quarter-Finals, Mexico thrashed Austria 9-0, but a more competitive game emerged between Italy and Switzerland as both nations had already begun developing their teams years prior. Italy edged out Switzerland 2-1 to progress to the Semi-Finals. England, who were forbidden to play on Football League grounds from 1921 to 1971, overcame West Germany 5-1. However, with Czechoslovakia's late withdrawal allegedly because of visa issues, West Germany were substituted in for a second Quarter-Final match, this time losing 6-1 to Denmark. In the Semi-Finals, Italy won 2-1 against Mexico thanks to Elena Schiavo's double. A brawl occurred over who would gain possession of the souvenir ball, which ultimately went to the Mexicans. Meanwhile, Denmark beat England 2-0 courtesy of a Kirsten Evers double. In the Third-Place Playoff, Mexico led 3-0 against England after 14 minutes. The Lionesses managed to pull two back 50 minutes in, but Mexico held on to win 3-2. Declared as the surprise package of the tournament, Mexico's success contributed towards the country hosting the 1971 Women's World Cup.
Hence, the Final between Italy and Denmark occurred on 15th July at the Stadio Comunale. Likely stemming from the Final's novelty and for featuring the host nation, 50,000 reportedly sought tickets for the encounter, contributing towards a delay in kick-off. Eventually, between 35,000-40,000 were in-attendance for the match. The game was actually a grudge match; Italy had beaten Denmark 3-1 in the 1969 European Competition for Women's Football Final. However, the 16th July 1970 issue of Gli Eroi del Calcio reported that while the team was still managed by Giuseppe Cavicchi, its player line-up was significantly different. This was because two Italian women's football associations, the FICF and rival Italian Federation of Female Football (FFIGC), were in conflict, the latter refusing to allow its affiliated players from competing. In contrast, Denmark was represented by the country's top team, Boldklubben Femina. The team faced an issue concerning missing jerseys allegedly following a mix-up with a Russian team departing from the Bologna hotel they checked in at. Thus, the team hastily put on AC Milan-branded clothes instead.
Denmark took the lead after 18 minutes; as the ball entered the Italian box, Østergaard Hansen charged in and lobbed the ball into the top-right corner. Despite the setback, Italy remained in contention, and the team received a strong chance to equalise when Denmark conceded a penalty 60 minutes in. Schiavo was the penalty taker, but failed to convert the opportunity into a goal. This was punished eight minutes later, as after receiving a pass, Maria Ševčíková chipped the ball over Italian goalkeeper Derna Isolini, the proceeding shot bouncing off the crossbar and into the goal. Denmark won 2-0, claiming their first of two unofficial World Cups, later winning the 1971 edition.
The match was filmed by at least two sources. One originated from Luce, who would provide a 1:20 black-and-white newsreel of the event. Additionally, silent colour footage lasting just under a minute is also available, featuring an alternate angle of the second goal. It is unclear where the colour film was sourced from, though BigSoccer speculates it may have come from an Associated Press newsreel. However, most footage captured of the game was ultimately edited out of the newsreels, including of Schiavo's penalty miss. Thus, the majority of the 1970 Women's World Cup Final coverage is lost media.
- Pixstory detailing prelude World Cups prior to the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, and noting FIFA's attempts to block them. Retrieved 10th May '23
- La Lazio al femminile summarising the tournament (article in Italian). Retrieved 10th May '23
- Carmen Pomiés summarising the Third Wave of women's football amid long-term bans on the game being lifted. Retrieved 10th May '23
- BigSoccer providing a substantial thread documenting the history of the tournament. Retrieved 10th May '23
- RSSSF detailing the 1969 European Competition for Women's Football, and noting the FIEFF was established in February 1970. Retrieved 10th May '23
- Football Makes History noting the two unofficial Women's European Championships prior to 1984. Retrieved 10th May '23
- Gol di Tacco a Spillo summarising Martini & Rossi's influence in the tournament's establishment. Retrieved 10th May '23
- RSSSF detailing the results of the tournament and other facts. Retrieved 10th May '23
- The FA summarising its ban on women playing on Football League grounds from 1921 to 1971. Retrieved 10th May '23
- BBC News detailing the 1971 Women's World Cup. Retrieved 10th May '23
- 16th July 1970 issue of Gli Eroi del Calcio reporting on the Final (newspaper in Italian). Retrieved 10th May '23