Women’s football proved very popular during World War One, because most fit men had been called to fight for their country. But after the war, men came back and things gradually changed.
In 1921, the Football Association banned all women’s teams from playing on grounds registered with the FA. The reason given was that football damaged women’s bodies, but some thought it was because of jealousy. Women’s football still attracted big crowds, often larger than the crowds watching the leading men’s teams. Some also thought the authorities used the ban to attack the Women’s Suffragette campaign for the right to vote, where football was very popular.
For several decades women’s football practically stopped, but in 1966 England’s men won the World Cup and things began to change. Because of the increased interest in people playing football, the Women’s Football Association was created in 1969 and two years later the Football Association lifted its ban.