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Ticket sales for Lionesses’ United States friendly top 65,000 in under 24 hours
England return to the scene of their Euro 2022 triumph to take on the USA in October.
Ticket sales for England’s planned Wembley clash against the United States in October have reached 65,000 in less than 24 hours.
The Football Association announced at 2pm on Tuesday that the Lionesses would return to the scene of Sunday’s Euro 2022 triumph to take on reigning world champions the USA on October 7, subject to having secured World Cup qualification in September.
And a message on the Lionesses’ official Twitter account on Wednesday morning said: “YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING. 65,000 tickets have already been sold for our October international against the United States!”
The ticketing website briefly crashed on Tuesday amid the huge demand.
It comes after a crowd of 87,192 – the biggest-ever attendance for a Euros match, men’s or women’s – saw the Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 after extra time at the stadium at the weekend as they secured the first major trophy in their history.
Sarina Wiegman’s side will be back in action with World Cup qualifiers against Austria away on September 3 and then Luxembourg at Stoke’s bet365 Stadium three days later – ticket sales for the latter fixture had reached 20,000 by midday on Tuesday.
England currently top their World Cup qualifying group with a maximum 24 points from eight matches and would seal qualification for next year’s showpiece in Australia and New Zealand with a draw against second-placed Austria.
The FA said that in the event of England having to play in the World Cup play-offs in October, anyone with a ticket for the US fixture would be entitled to a refund and given the opportunity to buy a ticket for the play-off, and that it and the United States’ federation would work to agree a new date for the fixture.
The sides have never met at Wembley before and last faced each other when England, then under Phil Neville, were defeated 2-0 in the SheBelieves Cup in 2020.
The previous summer the States beat England 2-1 in the semi-final of the World Cup in France.
Meanwhile, the FA has said “extensive consultation is ongoing” with clubs and stakeholders over the ownership model for the Women’s Super League and Championship.
Just before Euro 2022, Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football, spoke about plans to create a new subsidiary company for the leagues that it was discussing with clubs, saying: “We don’t want to launch an independent company until we’re sure of its sustainability financially. And, to be honest, that won’t happen until we get the next broadcast deal. So that’s a couple of years away.
“So we’ve said we’ll do this, what is essentially an interim structure, from January 2023 through to 2026.”
The Telegraph has reported the majority of WSL clubs urged the FA to accelerate the appointment of a new independent chief executive for the league at a meeting last week, amid concern the success of the Euros will not be fully capitalised upon by the top flight.
An FA spokesperson said: “The FA is continuing to work with our clubs and stakeholders on the creation of a wholly owned subsidiary for the Women’s Super League and Championship.
“Extensive consultation is ongoing with both groups, as we map out the details and timeline for the transition plan for both leagues.
“To ensure we have everything necessary in place, the appropriate time will be taken, with the aim of being in a position to announce the outcome of this consultation in early 2023.”
Writing in the Telegraph on Tuesday, Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said the WSL being taken “out of the hands of the FA and handed over to a commercial operation with experience of growing the sport in both broadcasting terms and the product around it” had to be an “absolute priority”.
When the FA’s director of women’s professional game Kelly Simmons was asked about Hayes’ comments, she told talkSPORT: “It won’t happen quickly, but for the last year-and-a-half or so we’ve been talking to the clubs about what does the longer-term ownership model look like for the WSL and Championship, and we’ve got another meeting again in September with the clubs.
“When the time is right and we’ve agreed on what the best longer-term model is, and who’s involved in that, the plan is to drive that forward.
“So it won’t sit in the FA, even probably medium term, certainly not longer term. The FA has invested significantly and are building it, but it needs to evolve and come outside the FA down the line and either be a standalone company in its own right or a joint partnership, and that’s just those final bits we are exploring.”