1st FIFA World Championship for Women's Football for the M&M's Cup 1991
FIFA was reluctant to bestow its World Cup brand on the fledgling tournament so came up with what must be one of the most unwieldy titles for a world champonship in the history of sport. The tournament's principle sponsor, Mars Inc even got to apply the name of one of their products to the trophy.
Once their team had negotiated the qualifying competition, China was chosen to host the tournament and matches were staged in six stadia across four cities in Guandong Province in the south-east of the country. Twelve teams took part following qualifying competitions which 48 teams entered. Each of the six FIFA Confederations had at least one representative.
Matches were played over 80 minutes but otherwise the competition rules were identical to those of the men's tournaments. Attendances were high with 510,000 spectators watching the 26 matches (an average of 19,615) but many tickets were given away free.
Six female officials were included in the official list. All acted as Assistant Referees except for Cláudia Vasconcelos Guedes from Brazil who took charge of the Third Place Play-off and became the first woman to referee a match under FIFA's jurisdiction.
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