Manchester set to raise the Euro 2022 curtain

Manchester will be front and centre of the biggest women’s European sport event in history after being hand-picked as one of nine host cities for the hotly-anticipated UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022.

Old Trafford will host the opening game of the tournament – England vs Austria – which raises the curtain for the competition on 6 July.

And the Manchester City Academy Stadium will also play host to three group matches as Belgium take on Iceland, Italy play Iceland and then the Italians play Belgium.

The world’s leading stars traded plush green pitches for swanky red carpets on Thursday as the draw for the European showpiece took place at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse.

The ticket ballot application window is now officially open and former England captain Rio Ferdinand, who racked up 81 caps for the Three Lions, is backing the summer football bonanza to blaze a trail.

The 42-year-old said: “Fans shouldn’t miss out on their chance to be at the biggest women’s EURO ever and enter the ticket ballot now. 

“I can’t wait to witness Wembley stadium for the final – its due to be the biggest European crowd for a women’s football match ever.

“What a moment for the women’s game that will leave such a massive legacy, inspiring huge numbers to be part of it in the future, whether its playing or watching! 

“It’s going to be massive next year – I’ve been told It’s set to be history-making for the sport which will be unreal to be a part of and not something you’d want to miss.

“It will definitely bring about more awareness of the women’s game. If girls out there get to a game or watch the tournament on TV (for free!) and think you know what, I want to play football, for fun or have aspirations to one day be an International footballer. Then amazing. Everyone deserves the chance to play.” 

The public ballot will close on 16 November and remaining tickets will go on general sale from mid-February 2022 ahead of the tournament curtain-raiser at Old Trafford on 6 July.

The showcase final takes place at Wembley on 31 July and with the women’s game profile continuing to sky-rocket, the total attendance record for a UEFA Women’s EURO – currently 240,045 for Netherlands 2017 – is expected to be more than doubled.

Old Trafford and the Manchester City Academy Stadium will be two of nine host cities for the competition with London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton also featuring.

And Milton Keynes, Rotherham, Brighton and Wigan & Leigh make up the locations that will welcome women’s football’s most highly-rated stars. 

Manchester’s selection as a major host venue will see fans flock to the city and Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, added: “In Greater Manchester, we’re excited for UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 not least because the opening game will be played at Old Trafford, but because the tournament will be a driver in inspiring even more girls in the city-region to take part in the sport.

“The live draw is a significant milestone and it’s a privilege for Manchester to have hosted this event.

“We already can’t wait to welcome players and fans from around Europe, particularly to our three host venues, which include Manchester City Academy Stadium and Leigh Sports Village as well as Old Trafford.

“Although the tournament is only round the corner, finding out which teams we are due to welcome has certainly started the countdown to next year.”

The UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022 ticket ballot application window is now open and closes 16 November. For more information and to enter the public ballot for tickets, visit

Featured image credit: Alex Livesey – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

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