‘Anyone but England’ does no favours for Scotland or football – Kezia Dugdale

Ellen White of England is consoled by the USA's Becky Sauerbrunn at the end of the semi-final. Picture: Getty
Ellen White of England is consoled by the USA's Becky Sauerbrunn at the end of the semi-final. Picture: Getty
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England’s defeat at the hands of the United States in the Women’s World Cup should not be celebrated, but the television audience of 11.7 million should be.

I’ve never been one for schadenfreude, honest!

So it was so disappointing to see the Lionesses bow out of the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday, losing 2-1 to the US.

They definitely put up a good fight, but in the end were no match for the holders, USA.

Fresh from their victory, US ex-pats in Edinburgh will have been out celebrating the win and no doubt combining events with Independence Day festivities. It seems likely it will be quite the week for the many Americans who live in the Capital, as they are the favourites to lift the trophy for the fourth time on Sunday against the Netherlands.

What has been evident across the whole tournament is the skills and technique displayed by all players, which has really created an appetite for new spectators. It’s just good football.

With each fixture the stadium crowds have increased in size and the supporters back home along with them.

England’s World Cup semi-final defeat by the United States attracted the highest peak television audience of the year so far with 11.7m, setting a new record for women’s football in the UK.

The Women’s World Cup has started a conversation and made it possible for women’s football to get the recognition it deserves.

All those supporters, many complete novices, have been part of the growth of the game so let’s not stick to the stereotype and celebrate England’s defeat – “anyone but England” will not improve the game. Lets instead celebrate the growing coverage, recognition and excitement in the women’s game.