England will be hosting a new annual international women’s tournament starting from February 2022, with Germany and Spain invited to take part in the inaugural competition.
The new tournament will provide the Lionesses with guaranteed top quality international opposition every year and the fourth country competing in 2022 will be announced in due course.
Although yet to be given a name, the tournament will see England and the three guest nations play each other once in a round robin format. The games will also be played in three sets of double headers, giving fans who attend twice as much football for their money.
In 2022, in particular, it will give England invaluable practice against top teams ahead of the European Championship finals on home soil.
“This exciting new addition to the international calendar promises to further accelerate the rapid growth we are already seeing in women’s football,” explained Baroness Sue Campbell, FA director of women’s football.
“Giving England fans the opportunity to see their team take on some of the best opposition in the world on an annual basis will create substantial interest, leading to a broader fanbase and strengthening grassroots participation. It will also provide the England team with the best preparation heading into the major tournaments over the next four years.
In terms of format, competing countries and the time of year, the new tournament stands to directly rival the existing SheBelieves Cup created by the United States in 2016.
England competed in each of the first five editions of the SheBelieves Cup, winning it in 2019, but were not involved in the 2021 event earlier this year. Germany also competed in it in 2016, 2017 and 2018, while Spain were invited in 2020.