Women's Football

England Women's World Cup qualifier vs Northern Ireland to be played at Wembley

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Wembley has only played host to friendlies in the past
Wembley has only played host to friendlies in the past / Tom Shaw/Getty Images

England Women are set to play their first ever competitive fixture at Wembley when they take on Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier on 23 October. 

The Lionesses have played at the national stadium twice before, both of which were friendlies against Germany in 2017 and 2019.

Each fixture was well attended and the FA will be hoping for another big crowd for October’s game - which will be incoming head coach Sarina Wiegman’s third in charge.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the FA's director of women's football Baroness Sue Campbell said: "Having the chance for our England team to play again at Wembley in a competitive fixture is so important.

"From a performance point of view, it will give us the chance to get close to a big-game occasion of the kind we hope our squad will experience at next summer's home UEFA Euro. Having had such a challenging 18 months, the day will mean so much to our players and of course we hope the chance to play in front of so many fans will be something truly special.

"We have missed the supporters and let's hope that things are heading in the right direction on that front. We want Wembley to feel like home for our England team and we want the players to be able to thrive when they run out to play.

"We are at the start of an exciting season and with Sarina Wiegman coming in as head coach, there is every reason for us to be upbeat for the months ahead."

England Women v Germany Women - International Friendly
England Women took on Germany at Wembley in 2019 / Paul Harding/Getty Images

Both teams are set to compete at next summer’s Women’s Euros as well. Northern Ireland will be appearing at their first ever major tournament after securing qualification in a dramatic play-off against Ukraine earlier this year. 

Hosts England, meanwhile, are among the favourites but will face stiff competition from the likes of Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands.