12 Trivia Facts About the Women’s World Cup

The Women’s World Cup is coming up soon, which means you might find yourself watching football (soccer for us Americans, we guess) on some TV in a bar. Or you’ll find you’re going out for trivia night you might run into some specific questions, for which knowing some trivia facts about the Women’s World Cup will be helpful.

Trivia Facts About the Women’s World Cup

1. The first Women’s World Cup was held in 1991, a full 61 years after the first men’s one. 

2. It was hosted in China, mostly because China hosted the 1988 FIFA Women’s Invitational Tournament. It was a kind of precursor to the Women’s World Cup.

3. Because affording women dignity is apparently too much for FIFA, FIFA wasn’t super sold on putting the “World Cup” brand on the first Women’s World Cup. So instead Mars, Incorporated (the M&M’s people) sponsored it. It was officially known as the 1st FIFA World Championship for Women’s Football for the M&M’s Cup. 

Yeesh, imagine how insulting it would be if they made this the trophy in 1991. Not that the weird M&M’s thing is that much less insulting.

4. International competition in women’s football has its early roots in 1970. The Federation of Independent European Female Football staged a kind of unofficial women’s world cup, between seven teams competing in Italy and Denmark.

5. During the first Women’s World Cup, FIFA made games 80 instead of 90 minutes long, because leadership believed women were only fit enough to play 40 minute halves. But at the same time, FIFA forced teams to play every other day, when men’s teams had at least four days between games. 

6. China and the US are the only countries that have hosted the Women’s World Cup more than once. China hosted in 1991 and 2007, while the States hosted 1999 and 2003.

7. China actually almost hosted the 2003 Cup too, they were awarded it by FIFA. It was changed to the US at the last minute due to the SARS outbreak. 

8. Carli Lloyd, playing for the USA, is the first player to score three goals in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final—doing so in 2015. She’s also the second football player to score a hat-trick in any senior FIFA World Cup Final.


United States’ Carli Lloyd celebrates after scoring her third goal against Japan during the first half of the FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sunday, July 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

9. The 2015 Cup was the first one played on artificial turf. Probably because FIFA’s leadership was mostly old dudes. 

10. On the bright side, the 2023 World Cup will only allow real grass. 

11. Bulgaria almost hosted the 1995 Women’s World Cup, but FIFA later gave it to Sweden. This also made Sweden the first to hold both the men’s and women’s World Cups. 

12. Taiwan, Thailand, and Equatorial Guinea have all participated in the Women’s World Cup without having qualified for the men’s World Cup. 

See if you know your winners of the Women’s World Cup here.