Karen Carney represented England at four World Cups

Former England midfielder Karen Carney will chair a major review into the future of women’s football in England.

The review, announced in April, will examine issues affecting the game at elite and grassroots levels.

It comes after England won a first major tournament since the 1966 men’s World Cup with victory in the 2022 Euros.

“Over the last few years, the game has grown significantly and at a rapid pace,” Carney said.

“Of course, this is an exciting time, but there is an urgent need to ensure there are processes and structures in place that protect the interest of the game and the people working in it,” added the ex-Arsenal, Birmingham and Chelsea player.

The review into domestic women’s football follows recommendations made in the fan-led review of football governance, published last November by ex-sports minister Tracey Crouch.

The findings are expected to be published early next year and will focus on three aspects of domestic women’s football: audience reach and growth, the financial health of the game and its long-term financial sustainability and examining the existing structures within the game.

Carney, who won 144 caps for England and retired from playing in 2019, will lead a series of group meetings with industry experts and be supported by officials from the Football Association (FA) and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

“For me, this is a defining period for the sport and this review will be at the heart of that,” Carney said.

“We must capitalise on these powerful moments and can look back on 2022 as a year where we made great strides forward in the growth of the game.”

UK culture secretary Nadine Dorries added: “The Lionesses’ spectacular performance shows how far we have come at the top of the women’s game.

“While it is right that we celebrate and reflect on that success, we need an equal emphasis on improving participation, employment opportunities, commercial investment and visibility in the media.”

Labour’s Shadow sports minister, Jeff Smith, responded to news Carney had been appointed to lead the review by saying the Government has “finally started getting its act together”.

“This review must have free reign to be fully independent and challenge the existing structure where needed,” Smith added.

“Without delay, we need to seize the moment and ensure women footballers are rewarded fairly and girls are supported to get into the sport.”

In July, Sarina Wiegman led the Lionesses to Euro 2022 success with a 2-1 final win over Germany at Wembley in front of a 87,192 crowd – an all-time Uefa tournament record.

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