FIFA Women's World Cup 1999
In May 1996 FIFA's Executive Committee awarded the 1999 Women's tournament to the United States. Given the success of the men's competition in 1994, the popularity of the women's game at grass roots level in North America and the strength of the United States' women's team, this was an obvious choice. The 1999 competition was expanded to 16 teams and 67 sides were entered into the regional qualifying competitions.
FIFA's choice was certainly vindicated by the attendances which broke all records. Almost 1.2 million spectators attended the games (an average of 37,719 per game, almost double the attendances in China in 1991). Eight cities hosted matches (four in the east and four on the west coast). The official attendance at the final, held on 10 July in Pasadena was 90,185, a world record for a women's sporting event.
For the first time all the match officials appointed by FIFA were female.
A new trophy was commissioned for the tournament and, unlike the men's World Cup, this would be retained by the winning team and a new trophy manufactured every four years.
(The World Cup logo is the property of FIFA and is reproduced here under fair use rules.)