The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup was the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup, the world championship for women's national association football teams. It took place in Guangdong, China from 16 to 30 November 1991. FIFA, football's international governing body selected China as host nation as Guangdong had hosted a prototype world championship three years earlier, the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament. Matches were played in the state capital, Guangzhou, as well as in Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan. The competition was sponsored by Mars, Incorporated. With FIFA still reluctant to bestow their "World Cup" brand, the tournament was officially known as the 1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup.
It was won by the United States, whose captain April Heinrichs formed a forward line dubbed the "triple–edged sword" with Carin Jennings and Michelle Akers-Stahl. Jennings was named player of the tournament while Akers-Stahl's ten goals won the Golden Shoe. The United States defeated Norway 2–1 in the final in front of a crowd of 65,000 people at Guangzhou's Tianhe Stadium. Total attendance for the tournament was 510,000, an average per match of 19,615. In the opening match at the same stadium, Norway was defeated 4–0 by hosts China. Chinese defender Ma Li scored the first goal in Women's World Cup history, while goalkeeper Zhong Honglian, also of China, posted the first official "clean sheet" in the tournament.
The 12 qualified teams were divided into three groups of four (A to C). The top two teams and the two best third-place finishers from the three groups advanced to the knockout round of eight teams. For only the first edition of the Women's World Cup, all matches lasted only 80 minutes, instead of the typical 90, and two points were awarded for a win (both of which would change in 1995).
|1991 FIFA Women's World Cup|
|1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&Ms Cup|
|Teams||12 (from 6 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||6 (in 4 host cities)|
|Champions||United States (1st title)|
|Goals scored||99 (3.81 per match)|
|Attendance||510,000 (19,615 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Michelle Akers-Stahl (10 goals)|
|Best player(s)||Carin Jennings|
|Fair play award||Germany|
|Yuexiu, Guangzhou||Tianhe, Guangzhou||Panyu, Guangzhou|
|Guangdong Provincial Stadium||Tianhe Stadium||Ying Tung Stadium|
|Capacity: 25,000||Capacity: 60,000||Capacity: 15,000|
|New Plaza Stadium||Jiangmen Stadium||Zhongshan Stadium|
|Capacity: 14,000||Capacity: 13,000||Capacity: 12,000|
Twelve teams qualified for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup final tournament. Each of the six FIFA confederations had at least one representative.
For a list of the squads that contended for the final tournament, see 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup squads.
For the first time in FIFA competition, six female officials were included. All functioned as assistant referees, except for Cláudia Vasconcelos who took charge of the third place play–off; becoming the first woman to referee a match sanctioned by FIFA.
FIFA's technical report demonstrates that, after the tournament, players and officials were undecided whether to persist with 80 minute matches, or to change to 90 minutes in line with men's football. Opinion was also divided about the suitability of using a size five football. Some teams reported difficulty in sourcing good quality equipment in the correct size.
The perceived success of the tournament was a significant factor in the subsequent inclusion of women's football in the 1996 Summer Olympics. Sue Lopez reported that although attendances were very high, many tickets were complimentary. The "novelty factor" of women from foreign lands playing football also encouraged local people to attend.
Teams were awarded two points for a win, one point for a draw, and none for a defeat.
|1||China PR (H)||3||2||1||0||10||3||7||5|
Liu 45', 50'
Sun Q. 75'
|Jensen 15', 40'
|Campbell 30' (o.g.)
Medalen 32', 38'
|Sun W. 37'
|China PR||4–1||New Zealand|
Liu 22', 60'
|Svensson 14' (pen.)
|Report||Thychosen 54' (pen.)|
I. Johansson 71'
|Report||Jennings 40', 49'
|Report||Videkull 1', 11'
Andelen 15', 60'
Yamaguchi 70' (o.g.)
|Report||Heinrichs 23', 35'
|Report||Akers-Stahl 20', 37'
|Report||Sundhage 42' (pen.)
Mohr 32', 34'
Morace 37', 52', 66'
|Report||Wiegmann 10' (pen.)
Mohr 21', 50'
|24 November — Foshan|
|27 November — Guangzhou|
|24 November — Zhongshan|
|30 November — Guangzhou|
|24 November — Guangzhou|
|27 November — Panyu|
|24 November — Jiangmen|
|29 November — Guangzhou|
|Wiegmann 17' (pen.)
|Report||MacKensie 25' (pen.)|
Svensson 96' (pen.)
|United States||7–0||Chinese Taipei|
|Akers-Stahl 8', 29', 33', 44' (pen.), 48'
|Videkull 6'||Report||Svensson 39' (pen.)
Medalen 41', 77'
|Jennings 10', 22', 33'
Heinrichs 54', 75'
|Akers-Stahl 20', 78'||Report||Medalen 29'|
1 own goal
Source: FIFA Technical Report
The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament:
|Golden Ball||Silver Ball||Bronze Ball|
|Carin Jennings||Michelle Akers-Stahl||Linda Medalen|
|Golden Shoe||Silver Shoe||Bronze Shoe|
|Michelle Akers-Stahl||Heidi Mohr|| Linda Medalen|
|10 goals||7 goals||6 goals|
|FIFA Fair Play Award|
|5||A||China PR||4||2||1||1||10||4||+6||5||Eliminated in|
Some of the terms and conditions had been changed this time: 90 minutes of play instead of 80 in China, a full group of 20 players instead of 18, three points for a win, and the experiment with time out.
In keeping with the true spirit of the celebration, six female referees or assistant referees were appointed among match officials for the first time in FIFA history. Claudia de Vasconcelos of Brazil, the referee for the 3rd-place match, became the first woman to officiate at this level for FIFA.
The 1991 AFC Women's Championship was a women's football tournament held in Fukuoka, Japan from 26 May to 8 June 1991. It was the 8th staging of the AFC Women's Championship.
The 1991 AFC Women's Championship, consisting of nine teams, served as the AFC's qualifying tournament for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. Asia's three berths were given to the two finalists - China and Japan - and the winner of the third place play-off, Chinese Taipei.1991 FIFA Women's World Cup Final
The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 30 November 1991 at Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou, China. It was played between Norway and the United States to determine the winner of the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. The United States beat Norway 2–1, with two goals from Michelle Akers-Stahl, to become winners of the first ever FIFA Women's World Cup.1991 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification
The 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification process saw 48 teams from the six FIFA confederations compete for the 12 places in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup finals. The places were divided as follows:
Africa - represented by CAF: 1 berth
Asia - AFC: 3 (one of those was eventual host China, who did not qualify automatically)
Europe - UEFA: 5
North, Central America & the Caribbean - CONCACAF: 1
Oceania - OFC: 1
South America - CONMEBOL: 1All of the confederations used their regional championship tournament to determine qualification. Hosts China PR also entered the qualifying process.
The first qualification match was played on 9 September 1989 and the qualification concluded on 14 July 1991. A total of 445 goals were scored in the 111 qualifying matches (an average of 4.01 per match).
Four teams withdrew during the qualification without playing a match: Congo, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, all of which are African teams.1991 FIFA Women's World Cup squads
Below are the rosters for the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup tournament in China.Ann Chiejine
Ann Chiejine (born 2 February 1974) is a Nigerian football goalkeeper who played for the Nigeria women's national football team at the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2000 Summer Olympics. She is an assistant coach for the U17 Nigerian women's team.Carin Jennings-Gabarra
Carin Leslie Jennings-Gabarra (born January 9, 1965), née Carin Jennings, is an American retired soccer forward. She earned 117 caps with the United States women's national soccer team from 1987 to 1996 and was awarded the Golden Ball Award as the best player at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. In 2000, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She currently coaches women's soccer at the United States Naval Academy.Elke Walther
Elke Walther (born 1 April 1971) is a German women's international footballer who plays as a goalkeeper. She is a member of the Germany women's national football team. She was part of the team at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. On club level she plays for VfL Sindelfingen in Germany.Federica D'Astolfo
Federica D'Astolfo (born 27 October 1966) is an Italian former international footballer who played as a midfielder. She played for Italy at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.Giorgia Brenzan
Giorgia Brenzan (born 21 August 1967) is an Italian former international footballer who played as a goalkeeper. She played for Italy at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.Gudrun Gottschlich
Gudrun Gottschlich (born 23 May 1970) is a German women's international footballer who plays as a forward. She is a member of the Germany women's national football team. She was part of the team at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. On club level she plays for KBC Duisburg in Germany.Malin Lundgren
Malin Lundgren (born 9 March 1967) is a Swedish footballer who played as a defender for the Sweden women's national football team. She was part of the team at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup and 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup. At the club level she played for Malmö in Sweden.Mavis Ogun
Mavis Ogun (born 24 August 1973) is a Nigerian footballer who played as a defender for the Nigeria women's national football team. She was part of the team at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.Nalvinha
Nalvinha (born 14 July 1965) is a Brazilian footballer who played as a forward for the Brazil women's national football team. She was part of the team at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup and 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup.Niu Lijie
Niu Lijie (born (1969 -04-12)12 April 1969) is a Chinese former football player who played for the China women's national football team. She represented China at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup.Rikke Holm
Rikke Holm Brink (born (1972-03-22)22 March 1972) was a female Danish footballer who played as a defender and midfielder.
She played 60 matches and scored 9 goals for the Denmark women's national football team.
She competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics, playing 3 matches.
She competed at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, and 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup.Shannon Higgins-Cirovski
Shannon Danise Higgins-Cirovski (born Kent, Washington) is a former U.S. soccer midfielder who earned fifty-one caps with the United States between 1987 and 1991. She was a member of the U.S. team at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.Silvia Fiorini
Silvia Fiorini (born 24 December 1969) is an Italian footballer who played as a midfielder for the Italy women's national football team. She was part of the team at the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, UEFA Women's Euro 1997 and 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.UEFA Women's Euro 1991
The 1991 UEFA Women's Championship took place in Denmark. It was won by Germany in a final against Norway in a repeat of the previous edition's final. Eighteen teams entered qualifying, which was enough to make the competition the first fully official one, so the name was changed to the UEFA Women's Championship.The tournament served as the European qualifying round for the FIFA Women's World Cup 1991.Zhou Yang (footballer)
Zhou Yang (born 2 January 1971) is a Chinese footballer who played as a midfielder for the China women's national football team. She was part of the team at the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup and 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup.
1991 FIFA Women's World Cup
1991 FIFA Women's World Cup finalists
1991 FIFA Women's World Cup stadiums