One in 10 female football fans in London play football every day

Almost four in 10 women in London play football at least a couple of times a week, with over one in 10 said they play every day.

It also emerged that seven in 10 women agree there are more female role models in football now than when they were younger – with 58 per cent also highlighting that their visibility is the best thing to support the sport at grassroots level.

Another 64 per cent said they were watching the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 tournament.

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    The research, which was commissioned by Volkswagen before the tournament, also revealed that former Arsenal right-back and current pundit Alex Scott MBE has been voted the most inspirational figure in women’s football.

    This comes as four aspiring young football fans have described the experience of a lifetime as they took centre stage at this year’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 as referee mascots on the pitch in Brentford.

    Kaylee Austin, Poppy Olivia, Maya Yfantouda and Scarlett Lobjoit were among many keen young footall fans who signed up to be referee mascots via their local Volkswagen retailer, West London Volkswagen. 

    A precious moment for mini-referees 

    All four girls walked with the referee on to the pitch and stood nearby while both national anthems took place.

    The experience kicked off for the girls at the Germany v Denmark game at the Brentford Community Stadium, where Maya Yfantouda was the mascot and Germany powered to a 4-0 win.

    Maya Yfantouda, 9, who plays for Belstone Wildcats and recently joined the Lions Maccabi development squad for U10s said: “It was so good I’m speechless.  

    “I can’t describe how amazing and precious it was to be a mini-referee and I got to keep the coin which decides the team starting the match. I will keep it for the rest of my life.” 

    Kaylee Austin, 9 said: “I really enjoyed my day and being out on the pitch. I have loved football since I was 3 and play it all the time.” 

    BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Volkswagen Official Referee Mascot during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 group B match between Germany and Denmark at Brentford Community Stadium on July 08, 2022 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

    Memories to last a lifetime

    The opportunity was opened to young female players aged 8-10, who had the chance to stand on the pitch and also received two additional tickets to watch the match.

    Girls from across the country also took part, with a mascot at the 31 matches between July 6 and July 31.

    Sarah Cox, Head of Marketing for Volkswagen UK said: “It was a privilege to host some of the country’s most passionate young football fans as referee mascots at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.

    “As well as a hugely eventful tournament, we’re still buzzing from the stories we’ve heard from our mascots.

    “We hope that the tournament continues to inspire young women to pursue their love for football, and we know our mascots will take away memories that will last a lifetime.”

    Inspirational icons on the rise

    Results from the poll also highlighted other big names in sport such as USA star Megan Rapinoe and vice-chairman of West Ham FC, Baroness Karren Brady.

    Sarah Cox said: “Undoubtedly following the momentous victory of the Lionesses, the game will continue to grow and inspire women and girls for years to come. Of course, we’ll see this list of inspirational icons get bigger and bigger.”

    England's heroic Lionesses made history at the weekend, with a 2-1 win against Germany at the Women’s EURO 2022 final at Wembley Stadium, attracting a record 87,192 spectators.