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With the Women’s World Cup taking place this month, here's what you should know about Singapore’s growing women’s football scene IMAGES: INSTAGRAM/@DANIELLE_TAN, @WOMENSFOOTBALLINSG

Here's Why You Should Pay Attention To SG Women's Football

Women’s football has been on the rise across the globe in recent years. And it’s not just because they are now being featured in the popular FIFA video games. While it may take a lot of effort and investment for the women’s game to enjoy the same profile as the men’s, we’ve seen significant steps being made, especially right here in Singapore.

In the spirit of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup that’s happening in nearby Australia and New Zealand, here are 5 reasons why you should be paying attention to Singapore women’s football.

1. Danelle Tan became the first Singaporean footballer to play in the German league

For football aficionados, the iconic yellow and black jersey of Borussia Dortmund will be instantly recognisable to you. Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Marco Reus have all pulled on the famous kit. Well, get ready for this - a Singaporean footballer recently joined that hallowed club!

Remember her name, Danelle Tan. This highly talented 18-year-old has become the first Asian player to join Borussia Dortmund's women's team. How cool is that? Having signed with the German giants back in June, she’s currently involved in pre-season training, which includes epic camps in the beautiful German Alps.

While Borussia Dortmund's men's team is among Europe's elites, their women's side was only formed in 2021. The players on the women's team might not all be on professional, full-time contracts, but that doesn't dim Danelle's excitement one bit. She even set aside college to make the move happen, which speaks of her dedication to the sport. Having joined on a year-long deal, Danelle has big plans to stick around for the long term.

It's absolutely fantastic to see our own Singaporean gal being a trailblazer on the global stage. We'll definitely be keeping tabs on Danelle and cheering her on every step of the way as she hopefully creates more history for Singapore women’s football.

2. More female local football personalities covering the sport 

Singapore women’s football is getting attention not only on the pitch but on the sidelines as well. Ash Hashim, also known as Futbolita, is Singapore's very own football superstar journalist. She not only creates viral football-related content on her social media platforms; she is also a FIFA Players' Agent and FIFA-accredited journalist.

Ash’s FIFA-accredited journalist pass gave her the amazing opportunity to fly over to Doha last December to cover the World Cup in Qatar and provide exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage.

Ash is also a passionate advocate for the local women’s football scene. She regularly interviews local female footballers and reports on Women’s Singapore Premier League matches, using her highly visible social media presence to raise the profile of the league. 

3. The Singapore Women's Premier League recently inked a sponsorship deal with Deloitte 

We all know the biggest barrier when it comes to growing the local game is building funding for the sport. It’s no different for the Singapore Women’s Premier League (WPL). Since its inception in 2000, the league has never had its own sponsor. But that all changed in 2022, when consulting firm Deloitte became the league’s first-ever title sponsor. Talk about a game-changer!

In this three-year deal, with a possible extension of two more years, Deloitte is investing over $300,000 to support the local women's football scene. And that's not all - the prize money for the WPL champions is set to skyrocket fivefold, reaching an impressive $25,000. Now we're talking some serious moolah!

This has now led to an expansion in the league, with nine teams competing for the prize money. The new additions - Hougang United, Balestier Khalsa, and Albirex Niigata - are Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs that have proudly incorporated senior women's teams into their ranks. It's all about supporting and promoting women's football, baby!

Thanks to Deloitte's sponsorship, the local women's football scene is getting a major boost, and the champions are in for some serious cash rewards. 

4. The Lionesses will be the only national football team competing at the upcoming Asian Games after the men’s team’s withdrawal 

It’s not just the local women’s clubs that are making headway. Our very own Singapore Women’s National Football Team has been doing us proud on the international front. This year alone, they finished third in their group at the Cambodia SEA Games, defeated Asian powerhouse Pakistan in a friendly, and will be the only SG football representation at the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

This came after the Men’s U-22 National Team was pulled from the upcoming Asian Games due to severe underperformance at the competition. So if you’re a local football fan, your hope will rest on the steady shoulders of our young Lionesses to represent our red and white flag.

5. The FIFA Women's World Cup throws the spotlight on the sport

Unless you're living under a rock, you'd know that the Women’s World Cup is currently taking place in Australia and New Zealand until August 20.

With the global boom in women's football, it’s no surprise that Mediacorp, Singtel, and StarHub have collaborated for this event for the first time to provide unprecedented broadcast coverage in Singapore for the tournament.

All 64 matches will be screened throughout the month. It’s a sign that interest in women's football is on the rise. While the usual suspects such as the US, Japan, and England dominate the global headlines, we’ve also seen our neighbours the Philippines and Vietnam put on a worthy showing.

It only makes you believe that the incredible generation of talented female players emerging in Singapore right now could stand a chance to qualify for future World Cups, given the right funding and support from the community. Onwards and upwards we go, Lionesses!

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