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'I'm looking forward to an exciting game' Ian Gibson on why we should be watching more women's football

PUBLISHED: 17:12 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 21 May 2019

Ian Gibson, is encouraging more people to watch women's football. Picture: David Hannant

Ian Gibson, is encouraging more people to watch women's football. Picture: David Hannant

David Hannant

A former MP and ex-footballer is encouraging more people to tune into women's football and get behind the UK's teams as they compete in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

England team group: (left-right) Front Row - Jade Moore, Fran Kirby, Nikita Parris, Jordan Nobbs and Toni Duggan. Back Row - Demi Stokes, Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright, Steph Houghton, Siobhan Chamberlain and Jodie Taylor during the FIFA 2019 Women's World Cup qualifying match at Prenton Park, Birkenhead.England team group: (left-right) Front Row - Jade Moore, Fran Kirby, Nikita Parris, Jordan Nobbs and Toni Duggan. Back Row - Demi Stokes, Lucy Bronze, Millie Bright, Steph Houghton, Siobhan Chamberlain and Jodie Taylor during the FIFA 2019 Women's World Cup qualifying match at Prenton Park, Birkenhead.

From June 7, 24 teams of female footballers from across the world will gather in France to compete for the coveted trophy.

Cheering them on along the way will be thousands of fans, including former MP for Norwich North, Ian Gibson, who ahead of travelling to France is encouraging as many people as possible to support women's football.

Mr Gibson, who is better known for his political career than his time spent playing and teaching football, said he first became a fan of women's football when he was a coach.

"I used to coach in the 1990s and a lot of women came along with their brothers and their brothers wouldn't let them play but we encouraged them to."

Scottish team pose for pictures before the International Challenge match at Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 7, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Scotland Women. Photo credit should read: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the Scottish FA.Scottish team pose for pictures before the International Challenge match at Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 7, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Scotland Women. Photo credit should read: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the Scottish FA.

Adding that he felt the female game harked back to the days when footballers played for the love of the game rather "playing for the foul" Mr Gibson said: "The women's game remains how it used to be, there's an appreciation of other's skill.

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"[Women's football] is played very competitively and they compete very hard, in my opinion they don't play for penalties.

"You see it in the [men's] professional games every week, you see players falling over and its seems to be the case that many players are playing for the foul and for penalties.

"But [women] love playing football and that's how it should be, you get there is a sense of real enjoyment and there seems to be a reparatory on the pitch and I like that, it was like that when I was growing up with the teams you played."

Travelling to Nice on June 5, to see Scotland take on England on June 9, Mr Gibson, said he was looking forward to an exhilarating match.

"I'm a Scottish supporter and I'm looking forward to an exciting game, the two teams really playing their hearts out and the atmosphere in the pubs and the bars afterwards.

"I would say [to anyone] give [women's football] a try see what you think of it. People I have convinced to watch it always say they didn't know women could play like they do."

England will take on Scotland in Sunday, June 9, in Stade de Nice, Nice 6pm local time.

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