Etihad, Stamford Bridge to host Women’s Super League openers

Arsenal take on Manchester City in the Women’s Super League at Boreham Wood last season. (Reuters pic)

BENGALURU: Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge will play host to the opening fixtures of Women’s Super League (WSL) teams Manchester City and Chelsea in September, the clubs have confirmed.

Manchester City will play WSL debutants Manchester United in a derby on Sept 7 at the 55,000-capacity Etihad stadium, while Chelsea will battle it out with Tottenham Hotspur the following day at the 41,000-capacity Stamford Bridge.

It will be the second time City have played at the Etihad Stadium, having defeated Everton 1-0 there in the group stages of the 2014 League Cup.

City will allow up to three children under 16 to attend the match for free with the purchase of an adult ticket, while no one will be charged to get into the Chelsea game.

The move is aimed at building on the momentum for women’s football after the World Cup, where the United States won a record-extending fourth title with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands on Sunday.

England, who finished fourth, were beaten by the United States in the semi-finals, a match watched by almost 12 million people in Britain.

Kelly Simmons, the FA’s director of women’s professional football had previously said some WSL matches will be played as “double-headers” with men’s Premier League games next season.

A full fixtures list for the remainder of the season will be announced on Wednesday, when the double-headers will become clear because the men’s fixtures have already been announced.