Festival of football all set for kick-off in Wigan borough
The final countdown is beginning for Wigan borough’s involvement in the biggest female football tournament ever to be hosted in Europe.
It is one of just nine areas, selected from across the country, set to host the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022.
National teams are beginning to arrive and the tournament will kick off on July, 6.
BBC women’s footballer of the year 2021 and Netherlands international, Vivianne Miedema, will be fighting for the title in Wigan and Leigh and Manchester City stars, Alex Greenwood, Lauren Hemp, Ellie Roebuck, Keira Walsh and Ellen White, will be helping to kick off England’s game in the opening fixture at Old Trafford.
Greater Manchester will play host to eight games in July, including England’s opening match against Austria at Old Trafford and a quarter-final tie and residents may have noticed that welcome signs across the county now feature the national flags of all the participating teams to show support and celebrate their arrival.
Wigan and Leigh’s sign comprises Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland as they will be playing at Leigh Sports Village.
If you’re looking for something to do, there will also be a number of fan parties filled with entertainment and fun activities to enjoy including: live music and entertainment, street theatre, spoken word performances, face painting, arts and heritage exhibitions, and food and drink.
More information about the full fan festival programme for each city is now available on the official event companion on the UEFA Women’s Euro mobile app.
Wigan and Leigh’s fan party will take place at Leigh Civic Square from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday July 9 and Sunday July 17 and from 2pm to 6.30pm Wednesday July 13 and Friday July 22.
The FA’s head of tournament delivery, Chris Bryant, said: “We’re delighted to be able to officially welcome the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 teams to England.
"We have an exciting few weeks ahead and a fantastic opportunity for football fans to experience some of the world’s very best players on their doorstep. “As we look ahead to the opening match, excitement across the country is growing at an incredible rate.
"Anyone who hasn’t got a ticket still has a chance to get involved and show their support for what is already a huge history making moment for women’s football.”
Wigan and Leigh fixtures: Portugal v Switzerland (Saturday July 9), Netherlands v Portugal (Wednesday July 13), Sweden v Portugal (Sunday July 17) and the quarter final (Friday July 22).
Old Trafford fixtures: England v Austria (Wednesday July 6).
Manchester City Academy fixtures: Belgium v Iceland (Sunday July 10), Italy v Iceland (Thursday July 14) and Italy v Belgium (Monday July 18).
Tickets are on sale now for fans to experience a record-breaking competition that aims to unite football and communities and amplify the growth of the women’s game.