Sunday, August 7, 2022

“Euro 2022 will change the image of women in society around the world,” says Williamson

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Williamson believes that “women still have struggles to overcome in most workplaces around the world” but hopes Euro 2022 will help change that

The Lionesses captain is just 90 minutes away from becoming the country’s first skipper in 56 years to win a major tournament, but insists the spectacle, in front of 87,000 fans at the National Stadium, is “not the end of a journey, it’s the beginning of a journey is”.

Leah Williamson believes Euro 2022 has “changed society”, not just women’s football, as England prepare to face Germany at Wembley.

“What we’ve already seen is that this isn’t just a change for women’s football, but for society in general, how we’re viewed,” Williamson said.

“I think regardless of the end result of the game, there will be a nice moment of reflection. Of course my job is to play 90 minutes and win, but looking back at this tournament as a whole, we really started something… I want this to be a sign of the future and not looking back at what was Come on.”

The 25-year-old didn’t want to know if she will follow in the footsteps of Bobby Moore, England’s 1966 World Cup captain, by receiving a statue outside of Wembley.

While noting how the tournament has attracted the attention of fans around the world, the Arsenal defender hinted that there is still a long way to go to ensure women are treated equally in and outside of sport .

“I’ve only been involved in this workplace before, football, but I think women in most workplaces around the world still have a few struggles to face and overcome,” she added.

Williamson, who watched Team GB beat Brazil in London 2012 as a teenager 10 years ago, hopes England’s run to the final of Euro 2022 will “open the eyes of anyone who sees women with potential, their male counterpart, I think being equal changes society.

“I think that’s a powerful message that in a typically male-dominated environment, we have the power to impact all of these moves that we’re taking forward in a big way.”

Sarina Wiegman also resisted being compared to the England men who lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy a year ago.

“I don’t think we should compare men and women, we’re all England,” she said. “Last year everyone was cheering for England, tomorrow I think it will be no different.”

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