STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

FIFA funds study to research history of women’s football in Scotland

FIFA will fund the first ever in-depth study of the origins of the women's game, from the 1880s to 1939.

FIFA funds study to research history of women’s football in Scotland SNS Group

A study into the history of women’s football in Scotland will take place as part of “ground-breaking” research funded by the games governing body.

FIFA has backed Glasgow Caledonian University’s Dr Fiona Skillen for the research scholarship aimed at charting the early history of the game.

Provided through the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), it will fund the first ever in-depth study of the origins of the women’s game, from the 1880s to 1939.

The study will look at the barriers and restrictions faced by the early female players, the role of the first World War, and the impact of the English FA’s 1921 ‘ban’ on organised matches. 

Dr Skillen, a sports historian and senior lecturer at GCU, will travel to the FIFA Museum and Archives, in Zurich, Switzerland, to examine records relating to women’s football in Scotland and the Scottish FA.

She said: “There have been no detailed studies of the early history of women’s football in Scotland.  

“This award from FIFA/CIES is recognition of how important the history of the game is.

“Insights from the past can help us to understand and shape the development of the contemporary women’s game.” 

The latest award will build on a pilot study carried out last year, funded by the GCU Research Reboot fund. 

Richard McBrearty, of the Scottish Football Museum, said: “We are delighted that Fiona has an opportunity to undertake this ground-breaking research into the history of women’s football in Scotland.  

“This will hugely benefit our knowledge of the game’s past and comes at a great time as we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first official match involving the Scotland Women’s National Team later this year.” 

The Scottish Football Museum is currently hosting an exhibition on the hidden history of the trailblazing inter-war side Rutherglen Ladies FC, based on research carried out by Dr Skillen and the football historian Steve Bolton.​