England will play the opening match of UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 at Old Trafford, in what promises to be a record-breaking edition of the European tournament next summer.
With Sunday 23 February marking 500 days to go until the action kicks off on 7 July 2021, we can now reveal the full match schedule.
And it includes confirmation that the Lionesses will open the tournament at the iconic 74,879 capacity venue in Manchester, offering the hosts an opportunity to break the attendance record for a Women’s EURO in its opening fixture.
Home of Manchester United, Old Trafford is one of ten grounds across the country which will stage EURO 2021 matches next summer and is a stadium close to the heart of England head coach Phil Neville who spent over ten years as a player there with the Reds.
Wembley Stadium – with a capacity of 90,000 – will host the showpiece final on 1 August, meaning the venue is hosting back-to-back men’s and women’s European Championship finals in 2020 and 2021.
As tournament hosts, Neville’s squad qualify automatically and will complete their group stage fixtures in front of home crowds at a further two Premier League venues – Brighton & Hove Albion’s Community Stadium and St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.
"It doesn’t get much bigger than managing your country at a home EURO and to have the opportunity to do so at a stadium that holds so many memories for me is huge,” said Neville.
“Old Trafford has a special place in my heart, but it’s also one of the country’s most iconic football grounds, so this announcement is a significant one for the tournament.
“I’m looking forward to kicking off our campaign in Manchester and to offering fans across the country the chance to watch the elite women’s game on home turf next summer.”
Baroness Sue Campbell DBE, our director of women’s football and UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 board member said: “The confirmation of Old Trafford as the iconic venue for England’s opening game shows just how big our aspirations for EURO 2021 are.
“As a proud host nation, our aim is not only to deliver a record-breaking tournament, but also to ensure that it provides a tangible legacy in terms of growing the women’s game.
“By inspiring fans both at home and abroad, and by committing to provide playing opportunities to girls in every school and club across the country, I’m confident that we can do exactly that.”
Now in its 13th edition, the tournament is poised to be the biggest women’s EURO to date, with over 700,000 tickets available to fans and extensive coverage of every game of the tournament available on free-to-air television, radio and online.
Fans will be able to see some of the world’s best players in action on home soil as 31 matches are played across 26 days of competition.