The status of women’s football has rocketed in recent years, but it can’t continue to grow without the public’s support.
Enter Little Mix, who have teamed up with the Football Association to recruit supporters for the England Women’s team ahead of this summer’s UEFA Women’s Euro tournament.
In a video featuring their hit single ‘Salute’, football fans Perrie, Jesy, Jade and Leigh-Anne call for women, girls and football fans across the nation to unite and show their support for England’s Lionesses.
Alongside the band, the video features a number of football cameos including England Women’s captain Steph Houghton, world number two freestyle footballer Liv Cooke and amateur female footballers.
The Lionesses are calling on fans around the country to show their support for the team by capturing an image or video of their salute and sharing it alongside a message of support on social media, using the hashtag #Lionesses.
According to the FA, ‘Salute’ was chosen for its empowering and inspirational message and reflects the FA’s ongoing objective to grow women and girls’ football domestically.
The Lionesses hope to build on their third-place finish in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and will fly to the Netherlands on Thursday 13 July.
You can catch the team facing Scotland in their first group game on Wednesday 19 July followed by Spain and Portugal.
On working with the Lionesses, Little Mix said: “When we wrote ‘Salute’ we wanted to convey a message of all women being united, something we know all fans are when supporting England. Being England fans ourselves, we jumped at the chance for ‘Salute’ to help unify support for the Lionesses.
“The World Cup a few years ago was massive for the Lionesses and they have smashed it since, so hopefully the support will help them go all the way this summer.”
England Women’s captain, Steph Houghton, added: “The support of our fans is vital to everything that we do – we always play for our country and our fans. Since the World Cup in 2015, we’ve all experienced an increase in the interest in women’s football which has led to more and more fans supporting the team.
“It’s amazing that we are now able to work with the world’s biggest girl band, Little Mix, to help grow our fan base even more at such a key time and hopefully this will help us bring home the trophy in August.”
The ‘Salute’ project comes as part of a wider campaign by The FA, For All, launched earlier this year, which sets out to double the number of girls playing football by 2020.
As part of the initiative, the FA has created a Gameplan for Growth, which details the practical steps they will take to raise the profile of women’s football.
The commitment includes the creation of four new posts dedicated to championing women’s football - a head of women’s performance, a head of women’s coach development, a new women’s refereeing manager and a head of marketing and commercial for women’s football - as well as new football sessions created exclusively for girls.