Insight & Analysis

Football: a game of numbers – big numbers!

Published: Jul 2019

If you want to break records you have to think big. The arrival of women’s football on the world stage this summer set the stage for the largest ever number of players in a single game.

As France 2019 got under way, a bid to smash the record saw a total of 807 players take to the pitch at the Olympique Lyonnais academy.

The all-women line-up, drawn from 60 countries, played for 68 hours and nine minutes non-stop.

To qualify, each player had to compete for at least ten minutes and hit the ball at least once.

The match took place from 27th June to 1st July , during continental Europe’s ongoing heatwave. The organisers delayed the start by one day to avoid the worst of the weather.

The record attempt, which saw the end of the existing record of ‘just’ 677 players, is part of a move to promote equality and opportunity and help empower women in sport. It was set up by non-profit organisation Equal Playing Field.

The organisation had already set world records for playing football at the highest altitude on Kilimanjaro, and the lowest at the Dead Sea in Jordan.

“It’s about women getting access to same stuff that men get,” commented one player.

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