On Tuesday, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) chose Switzerland as the host of the 2025 Women’s European Championships. Through a secret ballot, the all-male executive committee voted to select the central European nation from a pool of four countries that included France, Poland, and a joint bid from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
The Swiss bid was backed by sponsors with its modern facilities, close proximity of the host venues, and with very little building work needed for stadiums or training bases. While the 2019 Women’s World Cup was held in France, the country saw its bid marred by the chaotic scenes at the 2022 men’s Champions League final in Paris, ultimately causing Uefa to apologize to Liverpool supporters.
Meanwhile, the Scandinavian bid had a great chance to grow the women’s game, however the vast distances between host venues were its downfall. Poland, while having had little success in women’s football, could have offered a potential opportunity to nurture their talent, but the Swiss bid emerged as the clear winner.
The only female representation on Uefa’s exec committee, Florence Hardouin was barred from the voting due to the fact that her nation of origin was one of the contenders. This highlighted the fact that the committee only has one guaranteed spot for a female member. Nonetheless, this could change at a later point as two women are standing in elections for the next four-year term on Uefa’s executive committee which includes England’s Laura McAllister who is standing unopposed for the one female member position and Norway’s Lise Klaveness is one of eleven candidates for the open positions.
Switzerland will host the event for the first time, the nation’s first senior major football tournament since co-hosting the 2008 men’s Euros with neighbouring Austria. UEFA had originally proposed hosting the tournament in the cities of Bern, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lucerne, Sion, St Gallen, Thun and Zurich, while a joint bid with Liechtenstein had been dropped in 2022.
England will be set to defend the European title they had won for the first time only last summer, and will face 16 teams at the tournament – the same number as the 2019 edition.
UEFA is the governing body for both men’s and women’s football in Europe and has always promoted the spirit of diversity in the sport. This historic decision by their all-male exec committee is a step in the right direction and promises to be a successful tournament.