England Football Association have announced that England Lionesses are set to host a new annual tournament from February 2022.
The tournament will take place across seven days in double-headers at three selected venues across England in a round-robin format, akin to the US-based SheBelieves Cup which the Lionesses participated in between 2016-20.
England will be joined by Germany and Spain alongside a fourth nation which will be named in coming months, with the aim to provide tough competition as part of Sarina Wiegman’s preparations for 2022 UEFA Women’s Euros, which takes place in England next July.
FA Director of Women’s Football, Baroness Sue Campbell has welcomes this new tournament with “exciting” promise of helping “to further accelerate the rapid growth we are already seeing in women’s football.”
Baroness Campbell also spoke about the benefits of this tournament taking place on English soil, as she said: “Giving England fans the opportunity to see their team take on some of the best opposition in the world on an annual basis will create substantial interest, leading to a broader fanbase and strengthening grassroots participation.”
“It will also provide the England team with the best preparation heading into the major tournaments over the next four years.”
The new tournament will be led by London-based sports marketing agency, Pitch international with Baroness Campbell hailing the company as “a world-leader in organising events,” with a strong track-record within the sport.
Pitch International’s Director of Women’s Sport, Cat Watson, added: “We’re excited to be building on our commitment to women’s football, by investing in and delivering a new tournament featuring the best teams and players from around the world, that will be broadcast to a global audience.”
This announcement now means that England won’t return to the SheBelieves Cup after missing the 2021 edition, due to travel restrictions amidst a third national lockdown in the UK at the start of this year.
Further details on the competition, tickets, venues and dates will be announced in due course.