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Weekend review: Arsenal play ‘special’ game, FA’s ticket delight, FIFA eager to build

With the Women’s World Cup still fresh in the memory and a new season fast approaching these are exciting times for women’s football.

Governing bodies are working hard to capitalise on the success of this summer’s tournament, while clubs are busy preparing for the new campaign.

Read on as we look at some of the biggest stories from over the weekend.

McCabe happy despite pre-season defeat

Arsenal Women’s star Katie McCabe says she was delighted to have the opportunity to play at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The team were competing in a revised format of the Emirates Cup, which saw them play before the club’s men’s side as part of a double-header. The Gunners were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich, but McCabe insists the experience was a memorable one.

“It was pretty special – you watch Arsenal play here growing up, so to walk out and play in front of the fans was a pretty special moment,” she told Arsenal’s official club website.

“Obviously they’re a strong side – champions of Germany and play regularly in the Champions League – but it was a great test for us and it’s just a pity about the result.

“We can take plenty of positives from today. I thought that we played well, but gifted them the ball at times which is unlike us. There were plenty of positives to take from today, as it was our first game of pre-season.”

FA delighted as fans get behind women’s football

The Football Association say that they are encouraged by the impact the Women’s World Cup has had on season ticket sales at club level.

According to the Telegraph, West Ham United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are amongst the clubs who have reported an upturn in sales this summer.

Kelly Simmons, the FA’s director of the women’s professional game, said: “It’s great to see the success and profile of the World Cup transferring into regular domestic football.

“What is particularly pleasing is the passion and commitment from fans who are increasingly purchasing season tickets as they want to attend regularly and follow their team throughout the season.

“This is the next step and a great indicator of the impact of the Women’s World Cup.”

FIFA aiming to fast-track World Cup expansion

FIFA is aiming to fast-track expansion of the next Women’s World Cup to 32 teams following the success of this summer’s tournament in France.

The governing body believes that increasing the number of teams would help to speed up the development of the women’s game globally.

Nine federations are currently preparing to submit bids to host the tournament, but FIFA is proposing changing the process by asking them to reconfirm their interest in staging an expanded World Cup.

If council members agree to the expansion by next week, FIFA would then choose the host next May rather than March as previously scheduled.

With FIFA also planning to shake-up the commercial aspect by seeking exclusive sponsors for the tournament, it is clear they are eager to keep the momentum going for women’s football.

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