Women’s football has always been popular in France, dating back a century.
The first prominent French women's match took place on December 26, 1920. This was between a women’s team from France and a women’s team from Preston, England.
The game was at the home of Everton FC, Goodison Park in front of a massive crowd of 53,000. Reportedly, another 10,000 people turned up but were not allowed into the game because of the stadium’s capacity.
The main competition for women’s football in France
It was in 1918 that the Division 1 Feminine was formed. It was to be looked after by the Fédération des Sociétés Féminines Sportives de France (FSFSF). This league competition took place on an annual basis until 1932 women were banned from playing football.
It was then not until 1975 that the league competition for women was once again played. This was largely thanks to help from the French Football Federation. The Federation provided funds for the formation and operation of this league for women in France.
It was for the 2009/2010 season that the teams in this league went professional. For many years the league had been operating as a semi-professional environment.
The format of the Division 1 Feminine
There are currently a dozen different teams that take part in this league competition each season. Each of the teams in his competition will be playing each other twice in a given year, once at home and once away. Therefore, each club will be playing 22 games in a given season.
There is a winter break that takes place in the league normally. This is usually in a time period in mid-December and lasts until mid-late January. As per the most recent rankings from UEFA, the Division 1 Feminine is the premier women's league competition in all of Europe.
For each game that a team wins in the league, there will be four points awarded. If the game ends in a draw, both teams will get two points, with the loser getting a single point for their efforts.
The end of the season
At the end of the season, it is the team that has the most points that will be crowned champion. If two or more teams have the same amount of points, then the finishing position will be determined by goal difference and the total number of goals scored if the goal difference is also the same.
If there is still a tie, then there will be a play-off that takes place at a neutral venue. The two teams that finish at the bottom of the table each season will get relegated down to the Division 2 Feminine. These teams will be replaced by a couple of clubs at the top of Division 2 Feminine table.
The leading two clubs in the Division 1 Feminine at the end of the year will get automatic qualification into the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The most successful team in French Women’s football is Lyon. The club has 17 Division 1 Feminine titles, as well as having won the UEFA Women’s Champions League on six different occasions, including winning four consecutive titles from 20166 o 2019.
International women’s football in France
There are a number of different events that the French women’s national team takes place in. This includes the UEFA Women’s European Championships, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Algarve Cup and the Summer Olympics.
The national team first qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2003. Its best result to date in this international competition is 4th place in the 2011 event. In the Women’s European Championship, the best position the French national team has finished is the quarter-finals stage, having been knocked out in the last eight on three different occasions.
There is hope that with the success of Lyon that the French women’s national team can improve in the future and become more competitive in the international competitions that it plays in.
Betting on French women’s football
As there is one team that tends to dominate domestic women’s football in France, you will have to use a lot of handicap betting if you want to wager on Lyon games.
Then there are interesting opportunities when betting on the French women’s national team. It is a side with a lot of potential that it has not yet realized on an international level. Therefore, there may be some value in the future as the team improves but still has decent prices in certain markets.