UEFA Women's Euro 2005 (partially found footage and radio coverage of international football matches; 2005)
The UEFA Women's Euro 2005 was the ninth UEFA-sanctioned Women's European Championship. Hosted in England, it commenced from 5th-19th June 2005, with the Final seeing Germany defeat Norway 3-1 in front of 21,105 at Ewood Park to claim its fourth consecutive European Championship, and its sixth title overall. The event also saw extensive radio and television coverage by the BBC and Eurosport and is cited as a key step towards women's football in England becoming mainstream and more competitive.
On 28th November 2002, England won the hosting rights for Euro 2005. This was hailed as an historic occasion for the nation's women's game, which had previously been stifled by the FA's ban on women playing on Football League pitches from 1921 to 1971. The FA's motivation for hosting the tournament was enhanced as football overtook netball to become the most popular sport among girls in England. Hence, it provided a critical opportunity to increase the share of women's participation in football from just 10% cited in 2003. The tournament would be held exclusively in the North West, with Bloomfield Road, the City of Manchester Stadium, Ewood Park, Halliwell Jones Stadium, and Deepdale all hosting games. This was done as part of a legacy programme to enhance participation within the region. Hosts England consisted primarily of part-time players, and so were deemed underdogs despite having the home advantage. The Three Lionesses' main objective was simply to escape the Group Stages and consequently reach the Semi-Finals. Previously, the team had finished runners-up in the 1984 European Competition for Women's Football.
As hosts, England qualified automatically. The other seven spots were contested by 20 nations split into four qualifying groups of five, where topping the group would ensure automatic qualification, finishing second guaranteed a playoff spot, and the two highest-performing third-placed sides also reached the playoff stages. In Group 1, Sweden outmatched Italy and Finland, who both entered the playoffs. Denmark edged out Norway for automatic qualification in Group 2, while France topped Group 3 to force Russia and Iceland into the playoffs. Finally, defending champions and 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup champions Germany achieved a 100% record in Group 4, with Czech Republic making the playoffs. Germany were thus declared the favourites to win the tournament and thus achieve a fourth consecutive European Championship. In the three playoff games contested over two legs, Finland defeated Russia 4-1 on aggregate, Norway smashed Iceland 9-3, while Italy overwhelmed Czech Republic 5-1 to claim the final Euro 2005 spots.
Considering the tournament was held in the "motherland" of football, UEFA deemed television coverage as a vital step to increasing women's football's popularity across Europe. Eurosport reportedly televised all games live. Meanwhile, the BBC, which had snubbed airing the 1984 European Competition for Women's Football Final, had also come to terms with UEFA involving a package deal that depended greatly on England's performance. A press release published on 3rd June 2005 declared BBC Two would broadcast all three of England's group games live, as well as the Final, as part of Match of the Day. Commentary for these matches were provided by Steve Wilson and Marianne Spacey. Highlights of Group B games featuring France, Germany, Italy, and Norway were aired in late timeslots, Guy Mowbray and John Murray providing announcing duties. If England reached the Semi-Finals, said game involving them would be aired live. Alas, England were eliminated at the Group Stage, relegating the coverage to highlights airing during near midnight. Additionally, BBC Radio 5 provided live coverage of England's group matches and the Final with Jacqui Oatley as the sole commentator, and reported on updates surrounding the team.
Despite England's early exit, Euro 2005 was declared as a big success for the national game and for UEFA. The overall attendance tournament attendance topped 117,384. England's opener against Finland at the City of Manchester Stadium drew a record England women's football crowd of 29,092, with the Lionesses' final game against Sweden attracting 25,694 at Ewood Park. Overall, 69,481 fans viewed England's three games. From a television standpoint, the England-Finland game drew 2.6 million for the BBC, peaking at 2.9 million. 1.7 million was reported for the England-Denmark encounter, topping at 2.3 million. Finally, the England-Sweden clash generated 2.4 million viewers, peaking at 3 million for a 15.2% of the UK audience share. Not all matches proved enticing though, with France's game against Italy drawing the lowest crowd at only 957. Nevertheless, Euro 2005's stadium attendance and television ratings were declared as "excellent" by then-UEFA CEO Lars-Christer Olsson, adding that its success should boost the game across Europe.
As for England, the tournament was praised as a key milestone towards the rapid development of women's football throughout the 2010s and the modern era. Pre-tournament, the FA invested around £10 million to increase grassroot participation among girls, after various barriers towards girls' success at the game were raised in a government report. The tournament's popularity also boosted calls for creating a professional women's league, culminating in the creation of the Women's Super League from 2011 onwards, which turned fully professional in 2018. As investment in the women's game rose, so did long-term viewership and attendance, as well as increased competitiveness in the domestic and international game. For the England national team, results would improve dramatically overtime, beginning with the side reaching the Euro 2009 Final. This reached a peak when England hosted Euro 2022, with the nation winning the tournament in front of record crowds and television viewership. Notably, eleven of the 23-woman squad were aged eight or below when Euro 2005 commenced, providing a further example of how the tournament increased visibility and subsequent participation of the women's game.
The UEFA Women's Euro 2005 began on 5th June 2005. In Group A, Sweden broke the deadlock against Denmark after 19 minutes, when following Malin Mostrom's strike being saved by the Danish goalkeeper, Hanna Ljungberg capitalised on the subsequent rebound and defensive mishaps. Ten minutes later, Johanna Rasmussen scored a "smart" equaliser at Hedvig Lindahl's expense. The game ended 1-1 despite a shout for a Sweden penalty in the second-half that was ultimately denied by the referee. Meanwhile, Finnish goalkeeper Satu Kunnas botched saving a free kick by England's Karen Carney, with Sanna Valkonen unable to prevent the own goal 18 minutes in. A header by Finland's Anne Makinen hit the crossbar seven minutes later, and the hosts were 2-0 up after a crossbar-rebounded Kelly Smith strike was converted into a header by Amanda Barr. Finland fought back in the second-half, firstly by an Anna-Kaisa Rantanen curled shot, before an 89th minute Laura Kalmari goal seemed to guarantee a draw as Finland dominated. However, a stoppage time chip by Carney following a rebounded Eniola Aluko shot secured a 3-2 win for the Lionesses.
Two days later, England generally outperformed Denmark in the first half but failed to capitalise on opportunities as Denmark's defence held strong. A header from Barr went narrowly wide 35 minutes in. However when Mariann Knudsen conceded a penalty, Fara Williams converted to put her side 1-0 after 52 minutes. But after 80 minutes, Merete Pedersen scored from a free-kick, and eight minutes later Rasmussen's cross was converted into a header by Cathrine Paaske Sorensen, giving Denmark a 2-1 comeback win. Elsewhere, Sweden thought they scored against Finland thanks to Ljungberg, but the 63rd-minute shot was declared offside. The match ended in a goalless draw despite a relentless late charge by Sweden, Finland ultimately weathering the storm.
With this, England and Denmark simply needed to draw to both reach the Semi-Finals. However, England's gameplan against Sweden came unglued when a third-minute corner bounced off Katie Chapman, which in turn allowed Anna Sjostrom to score. Shouts that England goalkeeper Rachel Brown was obstructed during the set piece were not upheld. Despite a few opportunities, including a Faye White header narrowly going over the bar thanks to Jane Törnqvist, the Lionesses could not find an equaliser amid Sweden holding sufficient possession and thus crashed out of the tournament. Meanwhile, Finland's Kalmari put her side ahead six minutes in against Denmark after intercepting a defender, with Heidi Kackur doubling the nation's score after Gitte Andersen botched a goal clearance. Sorensen scored a consolation coming from a deflection, but Finland held on to earn a surprise 2-1 win. Sweden topped the group with Finland second.
Group B began with five-time champions Germany taking on two-time victors Norway. Norway controlled proceedings early on, with Unni Lehn and Ingrid Stensland both narrowly missing on breaking the deadlock, the latter almost scoring via chip from the halfway line. However, the defending champions fought back with some missed opportunities by a missed volley from Kerstin Garefrekes and Inka Grings' shot being cleared by Ane Stangeland. Ultimately, Conny Pohlers sealed a 1-0 victory for the Germans after converting a strong pass from Navina Omilade. France's Hoda Lattaf beat Italy's Carla Brunozzi with a chip, and almost scored a second when her strike was narrowly denied by an on-the-line clearance. Marinette Pichon piped in to make it 2-0, before doing so again after a Sandrine Soubeyrand and Lattaf's shots were deflected by the posts and crossbar. In the second half, Soubeyrand nearly made it 4-0 when another of her shots deflected off the post. Sara Di Filippo provided a consolation goal for the Italians as they lost 3-1.
Matters did not improve for Italy when Birgit Prinz, Pohlers, Stefanie Jones and an Anja Mittag strike from a rebounded penalty of hers ensured a dominant 4-0 Germany win. Mittag's goal was her 84th for Germany, becoming the nation's highest-scoring player. France were on-course to join Germany in the Semi-Finals courtesy of a 20th-minute strike by Stephanie Mugneret-Beghe following a switching pass by Sonia Bompastor that was poorly intercepted with a back pass from Siri Nordby. However, a 66th-minute Isabell Herlovsen header via a corner levelled proceedings, and despite a Norway resurgence, including a Solveig Gulbrandsen shot hitting the post and a Soubeyrand goal being disallowed as offside, the game ultimately ended 1-1.
France required a point to qualify, and managed to prevent Germany from scoring for the first 70 minutes. This included goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi saving a Prinz volley and a Pohler's rebound, with France also noted to have gained the upper hand early on. Alas, Grings finally broke the deadlock after 72 minutes, breaking France's resolve. A penalty shot by Renate Lingor and a Sandra Minnert 83rd minute free-kick ensured the defending champions achieved a 3-0 win and a 100% group win record with no goals conceded. It was goals galore in the final Group B match, as Lise Klaveness' opening goal was cancelled out by Melania Ganniadini. However, Norway led 4-1 as the interval approached thanks to goals from Marit Christensen, Gulbrandsen, and Dagny Mellgren. A second Ganniadini goal was cancelled by a second Klaveness strike, and while Elisa Camporese scored a third consolation Italy goal, it was not enough to overhaul a 5-3 result. Germany topped the group, while Norway edged out France via goal difference.
The defending champions overwhelmed Finland from the beginning. Mittag's pass was met by a charging Grings, who opened the score after only three minutes. Just five minutes later, Pohlers capitalised on defensive errors caused during a Garefrekes cross being deflected by two defenders. After 12 minutes, Germany were 3-0 up; Lingor's cross into the Finnish box triggered a frantic race for the ball, with Grings ultimately scoring her second. Still, Finland pulled one back three minutes later, Minna Mustonen taking advantage of a slow reacting Silke Rottenberg. Rottenberg did manage to save a strong strike from Valkonen before the interval, however. Ultimately, Finland were again on the defensive in the second half, its defenders stopping Grings from scoring a hat-trick but failing to prevent a Prinz goal after 62 minutes. Germany won 4-1 to reach the Final, but Finland were nevertheless praised for a highly successful campaign, having been the lowest-ranked team pre-tournament.
The all-Scandinavian Semi-Final between Norway and Sweden was declared by UEFA as the game of the tournament. Seven minutes in, and Norwegian goalkeeper Bente Nordby was forced to stop a Ljungberg header, in a save declared as one of the tournament's best according to UEFA. Despite the Swedes providing several further early challenges, it was Norway who took the lead courtesy of Gulbrandsen breaching the Swedish defence after 41 minutes. However, a diving header by Ljungberg secured a quick equaliser. In the second-half, Svensson injured her right leg, forcing an impromptu substitution. Worse was to come for Sweden when Gulbrandsen's cross was converted into a header by Herlovsen, making it 2-1 after 65 minutes. Christensen nearly made it 3-1 after a header of hers was narrowly deflected away by Lindahl. But this attempt caused Sweden to up their game, culminating in Ljungberg scoring an equaliser with one minute remaining. Extra-time was required, but Norway ultimately progressed after Gulbrandsen landed a volley in the 19th minute. Norway would play in their fifth European Championship Final, while the loss marked Sweden manager Marika Domanski-Lyfors' last game in charge after nine years.
On 19th June 2005, Germany and Norway played the Final with 21,105 attending at Ewood Park, a record for a Women's European Championship Final. The defending champions exploited a fatigued Norway side, launching several set piece attacks. Then, 21 minutes in, a volley by Prinz was deflected to the bar by Nordby, only for a resulting corner by Pohlers to be headed in by Grings. Three minutes later, Grings' long pass travelled over the Norwegian defence, allowing Lingor a golden scoring opportunity that she ultimately converted for 2-0. The Germans were dominating possession throughout much of the first-half, though gameplans changed as the heavy rain arrived. The changing weather benefitted Norway, as Mellgren pulled a goal back, and it appeared Norway levelled before the interval only for Frantzen to be declared narrowly offside despite indications she was actually onside. Norway were therefore chasing the game into the second-half, Gulbrandsten nearly successfully lobbing over Rottenberg as the latter failed to secure an earlier attempt. However, Germany secured victory courtesy of a Prinz strike that hit Stangeland and subsequently prevented Norby from saving it. Prinz had previously scored in the 1995 and 1997 Finals, becoming the first to score in three European Championship Finals. Germany controlled the remainder of the game, with Nordby forced to stop several attempts for a fourth goal.
Germany, therefore, won 3-1, earning its fourth consecutive Euros title and sixth overall. It also marked German coach Tina Theune-Meyer's final match before leaving the team, having also guided the nation to the 1997 and 2001 titles. Theune-Meyer's summarised her time with the nation, stating "What makes us a winning team is that we have a tough-minded group of players who play hard and want to win everything." Germany's dominance continued into Euro 2009 and 2013, defeating Norway in the latter Final, before the team's reign of European glory was finally ended at Euro 2017.
UEFA Women's Euro 2005 received extensive radio and television coverage by the BBC and Eurosport. However, despite the legacy the tournament provided for European women's football, very little match footage is currently publicly available. UEFA did upload a video showcasing the best goals from the tournament, as well as highlights from the France-Italy, Norway-Italy, Germany-Finland, and Norway-Sweden matches, as part of UEFA TV. However, unlike with later Euros like Euro 2017, no full broadcasts have resurfaced from UEFA, with no home media releases available nor uploads originating from external sources. It is possible that the sheer cost of gaining rights to officially upload coverage, combined with UEFA's overall reluctance to provide a public video archive unlike FIFA, may have contributed to the lack of available footage. This also extends to BBC Radio 5's coverage, with no audio publicly resurfacing.
- Highlights of the France-Italy match.
- Highlights of the Norway-Italy match.
- Highlights of the Germany-Finland match.
- Highlights of the Norway-Sweden match.
- Archived The FA announcing England would host Euro 2005. Retrieved 7th May '23
- Sport in History paper by Barbara Bell detailing the tournament's overall influence on England women's football. Retrieved 7th May '23
- The Guardian detailing how Euro 2005 providing a key indication towards England women's football's future success. Retrieved 7th May '23
- The Athletic documenting the tournament's long-term influence on England women's football, particularly during the build-up to Euro 2022. Retrieved 7th May '23
- Eurosport detailing the impact of the tournament in the run-up to Euro 2022. Retrieved 7th May '23
- The FA summarising its ban on women playing on Football League grounds from 1921 to 1971, and England hosting Euro 2005. Retrieved 7th May '23
- Daily Mail reflecting on Euro 2005 and its influence heading into Euro 2022. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport previewing the tournament and summarising the previous Women's European Championships. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport summarising the 1984 European Competition for Women's Football, with it refusing to air the Final. Retrieved 7th May '23
- 90 Min listing all Euro Finals prior to 2022. Retrieved 7th May '23
- RSSSF detailing the results of the tournament's qualification and finals stages. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA noting Germany were declared the favourites heading into the tournament. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Genome archive of Radio Times issues detailing the BBC television and radio coverage of the tournament. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA summarising the tournament's commercial success and the matches. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC press release on its planned television coverage. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport previewing its television and radio coverage of the tournament. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the commercial success for England despite the team's early exit. Retrieved 7th May '23
- Sky Sports reporting on England becoming Euro 2022 champions and the tournament's record-breaking commercial reception. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the Sweden-Denmark match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Sweden-Denmark match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the England-Finland match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the England-Finland match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the England-Denmark match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the England-Denmark match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the Sweden-Finland match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Sweden-Finland match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the England-Sweden match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the England-Sweden match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the Finland-Denmark match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Finland-Denmark match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the Germany-Norway Group B match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Germany-Norway Group B match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the France-Italy match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the France-Italy match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the Germany-Italy match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Germany-Italy match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the France-Norway match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the France-Norway match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the Germany-France match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Germany-France match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the Norway-Italy match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Norway-Italy match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Germany-Finland match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Norway-Sweden match. Retrieved 7th May '23
- BBC Sport reporting on the Final. Retrieved 7th May '23
- UEFA reporting on the Final. Retrieved 7th May '23
- The Guardian reporting on the Final. Retrieved 7th May '23
- r/WomensSoccer discussing the lack of available Euro 2005 footage. Retrieved 7th May '23
- r/WomensSoccer post requesting tapes from the tournament. Retrieved 7th May '23
- r/WomensSoccer discussing the lack of available women's football broadcasts, potentially due to rights issues. Retrieved 7th May '23