Listening Report: The 2015 Women’s World Cup in Numbers

The Women's World Cup in Numbers On this week’s listening report for learners of English we take a look at the women’s game by comparing the Women’s FIFA World Cup with the Men’s competition. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link and can read the transcript of the report (below), where you will also find explanations of key vocabulary (in bold).

The Women’s and Men’s World Cups in Numbers

More and more women are participating in the world’s game, football, at all levels. There are thriving leagues in many countries, and in the USA in particular, soccer is a hugely popular sport to play. However, things are not all rosy – where are the women coaches, referees, and women’s teams on television? It’s clear the women’s game has a long way to go to rival the male version, but it is moving in the right direction. We take a look at how it has developed by spotlighting the Women’s World Cup and how it shapes up to the male tournament.

6 and 20

This is the number of tournaments held in the women’s World Cup – six – and the Men’s 20. The first Women’s World Cup was held in 1991 in China.

4 and 8

There have been four different winners in the women’s game – the USA, Germany, Japan and Norway, while eight countries have shared the honours in the Men’s game – Uruguay, Italy, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, England and France.

16 and 32

In the first half of its history, the Men’s World Cup had 16 participants, and that is how many could qualify for the Women’s game up until 2011. On the other hand, the Men’s game was expanded to 32 in 1998, double the number of the Women’s competition. Because of the popularity of the women’s game, however, the 2015 World Cup in Canada will be between 24 countries.

7.6 million and 454 million

The prize money on offer in FIFA’s Men’s World Cup is staggering. It dwarfs the tiny sum of 7.6 million dollars shared amongst the 16 teams of the 2011 Women’s World Cup.

2 and 5

There have been two countries in the women’s game that have won more than one championship – Germany and the USA. This compares with five in the men’s game – Uruguay, Italy, Brazil, Germany and Argentina.

37,000 and 52,000

The average attendance at both tournaments and it’s been very healthy – these numbers are based on the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany and the Men’s version in Brazil, 2014.

3.4 and 2.7

Again, looking at the last World Cups, 2011 and 2014, the women outscored their male counterparts with an average of nearly 3 and a half goals per game. The men could only muster 2.7.


thriving: growing, healthy; describes something doing well

(be) not rosy: not healthy, not all good

shape up to: compares to

to dwarf: to overshadow, to make something else look tiny

muster: collect, assemble, manage

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here If you have any suggestions, contact us at

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