England are set for a Rovers Return when they take on France in their next World Cup qualifier.
England v France
FIFA 2007 Women's World Cup Qualifier
7.05pm, 26 March 2006
The Football Association and Blackburn Rovers FC are delighted to announce that the England Women’s team will be returning to Ewood Park for a FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifier against France on Sunday 26 March 2006. Kick-off is at 7.05pm, and the game will also be televised live on BBC THREE.
England will make a welcome return to Ewood Park, the site of their last two home games in June at WOMEN’S EURO 2005.
Having secured maximum points from their first three qualifiers away to Austria, Hungary and Holland, Hope Powell’s side will be looking to continue their fine run of form as they look to qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.
The Three Lions will also be looking to avenge their play-off defeat over two legs in 2002, when two 1-0 victories by France were enough to secure their place at the 2003 World Cup Finals at the expense of England.
14,695 watched Denmark inflict a cruel 2-1 defeat on the hosts, and 25,694 saw Sweden end England’s hopes of a semi-final place with a 1-0 victory in June. Meanwhile, France also failed to progress from Group B.
Germany won the tournament after seeing off Norway 3-1 in front of 21,105 at Ewood Park.
England will be looking to attract the same level of support for this crucial qualifier. “Euro 2005 was a tremendous boost for the women’s game in this country and it was fantastic that so many people watched our games,” said Hope.
“The crowds that we had at Ewood Park were phenomenal and having such an unprecedented level of support was a huge boost for the players.
“There is still a long way to go in our qualifying group, but I have no doubt that if we can attract a large crowd again to get behind the team, we can create an atmosphere which can hopefully help take us one step closer to the Finals.”
Blackburn Rovers Chairman John Williams said: "We are delighted to be hosting such a prestigious international fixture.
“It was a great honour for the club to be involved in WOMEN’S EURO 2005, especially in staging two England games and the Final itself, and everyone was very pleased by the attendances. We hope that the forthcoming game will prove equally successful."
Blackburn Rovers’ Football in the Community Scheme will once more be supporting The FA in promoting the fixture to the thousands of young players involved with the Centre of Excellence and Blackburn with Darwen Council will also be bringing their passionate commitment to showcasing Blackburn as an international football venue.
Council Chief Executive Phil Watson added: “I am delighted that the England team are returning to the borough. The magnificent support they received during the European Championship at Ewood Park will continue for this World Cup qualifier and I'm sure that the team will respond to this support and continue their fantastic winning run.”
England top Group Five after three games with maximum points and rose to 12th in the FIFA world rankings issued at the end of last year, with France currently ranked 7th.
Tickets for the game at Ewood Park are now on sale priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions. Tickets can be purchased from the Blackburn Rovers ticket office or by calling the ticket hotline on 08701 123456.
Special group discounts are available for groups of over 15, with tickets costing just £1 per person, you can download the forms by clicking here.