Soccer Aid will finally allow women to compete in their annual charity game after someone pointed out that it is 2019.
Arsenal legends, Rachel Yankey and Katie Chapman will feature in an England XI with another two, as yet unnamed female players being picked for the World XI.
“The Football Association has supported the pair’s inclusion as part of its ongoing study into mixed adult participation in recreational football,” writes the Telegraph. “As a result, the match, which takes place at Stamford Bridge on June 16, will be monitored by researchers from Brunel University.”
The FA’S head of women’s football, Baroness Campbell, said: “It will be great to showcase women’s football as part of Soccer Aid for Unicef ahead of the World Cup. We are delighted to be able to work with Soccer Aid for Unicef as we continue our research of mixed football. This has seen the rules changing in recent years to allow boys and girls to play mixed football together and this match will be part of our continuing research into mixed adult recreational football.”
The Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt, added: “This is a hugely positive step forward, and for girls across the world who don’t want to be told what they can or can’t do. We must keep moving forward to make sure female athletes have all the same opportunities as men. Katie and Rachel are important role models for many budding female players.”
Yankey and Champman will play alongside Michael Owen, Joe Cole, Jamie Carragher, Glenn Johnson, Jamie Redknapp and David Seaman.