More women and girls playing football

1 June 2019, 12:32 | Updated: 1 June 2019, 12:33

Scotland's women

The number of women and girls playing football in Scotland has doubled over the last five years, figures show.

The total registered with the Scottish Football Association (SFA) has risen from 7,126 in 2014/2015 to 14,071 in 2018/19.

The figure has been rising each year, with the latest total showing 1,869 more women and girls registered with the SFA compared to the previous year.

In 2017/18, there were 12,202 women and girls registered with the SFA.

Earlier this week, a record crowd of 18,555 turned up at Hampden to support the Scotland women's national team in their friendly against Jamaica.

The game, which ended in a 3-2 victory for Scotland, was the team's final match before heading to the World Cup in France, where they are set to play England in their opening tie in Nice on June 9.

After the Jamaica match, Shelley Kerr's team were congratulated by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, tennis coach Judy Murray and Scotland men's national manager Steve Clarke.

Funding was provided to the team by the Scottish Government to allow them to train on a full-time basis from January until the World Cup kicks off.

SNP MSP Gail Ross said the future is bright for the Scottish national team - and for the women's game in Scotland.

She said: "The women's game in Scotland is flourishing both at a professional level and at the grassroots - with the number of girls playing for a local football team doubling in the past five years.

"Shelley Kerr has done a fantastic job to take a Scotland team to a World Cup, and this generation of players have breathed real excitement into the sport.

"The country is buzzing to cheer on our national team at the Women's World Cup in France next month with the belief we can go far in the tournament.

"And with more and more women and girls taking part in football, there's a bright future for our national team and our women's game."