A nine hour time difference never stopped us, right?
BY RACHEL FLANNAGAN, IMAGE BY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Nearly a year ago 50 million people tuned in to watch the Lionesses beat Germany and win the Euros. The tournament reached a record-breaking number of 365 million views globally, more than double the number in the 2017 tournament. Now, fans will be eagerly awaiting to see if the England team can become not just the European champions, but the world champions.
This World Cup bares a stark contrast to the 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar. Rainbow hats were confiscated, and One Love arms bands were banned with warning of sanctions to players that defied this order. The UK foreign secretary even told fans to be “respectful” in a country where you can be killed for being LGBTQIA.
However, women’s football has always been a place of queer celebration and openness to its LGBTQIA fans. This year is no different. A record number of at least 87 LGBTQIA athletes will compete, a number which more than doubles the 38 players that competed in the 2019 world cup. This includes top names such as Rachel Daly (England), Samantha Kerr (Australia) and Megan Rapinoe (USA).
This visibility extends even beyond the players simply being queer. The image of Kelley O’Hara kissing her girlfriend after USA won the World Cup went viral along with Sweden’s Magda Eriksson and Denmark’s Pernille Harder kiss in Paris during the same tournament.
Though it is to some dismay that these both got so much attention amongst a whole host of achievements, the significance of this visibility cannot go amiss. These women and non-binary people are looked up to and admired by so many.
You can watch all matches across the BBC and ITV. However, the task of watching the tournament out and about may be slightly more difficult than the casual trips to the pub in the afternoon during the Euros. This year the tournament is taking place across Australia and New Zealand, a region of the world that is at the least seven (at most ten) hours behind.
Here are some of the places across the UK showing the 2023 Women’s World Cup despite the time difference.
Baller FC (Friends Collective) are group that host women’s football watch parties and have a whole host of events to get involved with. If you’re in London, Baller FC are showing all matches at Signature Brew in Haggerston. Alongside watch parties they’ve got other football related activities to get involved with including a queer footie flag making workshop on Sunday 23 July at Signature Brew Haggerston. They show women’s football matches throughout the year and it is a great pace to meet some other queer women’s football fans so keep an eye out for their events.
The Big Penny Social in Walthamstow will be showing all Lioness matches on their 16ft screen. But if you’re looking to fulfil the classic image of thousands of football fans jumping and cheering with pints in hand then BoxPark Croydon and Wembley will all be showing Lioness matches.
For those in Manchester, Baller FC have also spread their reach to you. The Nip And Tipple will be playing host to the England vs Haiti match on Saturday 22 July from 10 am. For other matches they are operating on a demand basis. Nell’s Kampus will be hosting a free watch party of the England’s first game. Breakfast pizza is on the house and the bar will also be open if you’re feeling like getting into spirits early. The party will continue after the match featuring The Rain On Me DJ’s. To throw in one more Mancunium venue, The Brickhouse social is dedicating to showing all fixtures this tournament.
In Bristol, The Kings Street Brew house and Green House will be available for every Lioness game with Green House also trying to show as many other countries’ matches as possible. Further back up North in Leeds, The Cardigan Arms will be showing England matches and selected knockout fixtures.
If all else fails and you desperately want to watch a game out and about, call up your local pub/café with a TV and see if they’re willing to put the game on during their open times. You may be surprised at their answer, and it gives the game more exposure. So, trade your pints for coffee cup, grab your ‘I heart Weigman’ t-shirts, and let’s make it a record breaking world cup.
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