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Megan Rapinoe celebrates scoring another goal for the USA and is about to be congratulated by her teammates

 

Meredith and I sat beside each other on the sofa and watched the game together–but our loyalties were divided.

We were watching the semi-final of the Women’s World Cup–football/soccer, (depending which side of the sofa you were sitting on) between England and USA.

Whatever you choose to call it lived up to its sobriquet last night– The Beautiful Game.

Loyalties lie deep in the gut–something that catches me by surprise.

I live in France; I’m upset about Brexit, but roots kick in when the chips are down.

The game was played with a passion and politesse–not always on view in the men’s tournaments.

The skill on show was phenomenal and added to the pleasure.

Watching such breathtaking expertise is a joy–it lifts the spirit and can bring a tear to the eye.

The women’s game has struggled everywhere but the States to catch the imagination of Joe Public–not enough macho on display?

But this competition, played out in France, featured at prime time on terrestrial television, has changed things forever.

Along with Meredith and me in France, eleven million fans in the UK were watching.

The penny has dropped, the scales have fallen. The women’s game has come into its own.

Tonight Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA (world governing body of football) recognised this by proposing expanding the event to 32 teams from 24 and doubling the prize money and financial support. 

Full time–USA 2 England1

I conceded–through gritted teeth.

 

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