We now know the destination of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 – the competition will be heading to Switzerland for the first time. Congratulations and ‘Hopp Schwiiz’ to everyone involved!
As national-team defender Rachel Rinast told She Kicks during EURO 2022: “I’m happy that England is doing so much for women’s football. The people here, it’s awesome, it’s a nice atmosphere in the stadium. I hope we can take this with us to Switzerland. Maybe the next EUROs will be in Switzerland; that would be great!”
Having qualified for the tournament at the last two editions, their third will certainly be one to savour, with the Lionesses also defending their crown here in two summers’ time. She Kicks hears below from Marion Daube, director of women’s football at the Swiss Football Association (Schweizerischer Fussballverband), and the project leader of her country’s now-successful EURO 2025 bid.
At times in previous tournaments, when walking around host towns and cities, you could not always feel that there was a tournament happening there. What will you try to do in 2025 to make those host venues feel like a true promotion and celebration of the UEFA Women’s EURO?
We are a country in the heart of Europe. For us, this tournament is the chance to offer a platform to women’s football, and thus also to promote acceptance, awareness and recognition. Our biggest goal is to provide a national festival during the full four weeks; we will make sure that everyone will know that WEURO25 is in Switzerland.
We rely on marketing tools to generate awareness in TV, newspapers, out-of-home media, social media, and a highly-visible city dressing. Fan miles will be created in the cities, from the main hubs to the football stadium, on well-known public squares or around tourist attractions. We want the whole population to automatically become part of the tournament and join the celebrations.
— UEFA (@UEFA) April 4, 2023
In the 2019 World Cup, for example, issues included many fans finding it extremely difficult in Lyon to access transport after the game to get back to their accommodation at night. How will fans be taken care of, in this sense, in Switzerland in 2025?
We want to be the most sustainable tournament ever, and we count heavily on the use of our well-functioning public transportation. In Switzerland, we have one of the best public transportation systems; we have 5317 kilometres of rail tracks, and many more kilometres of bus and tram routes. Each of our stadiums has one or more stations. In addition, we are in exchange with the venues and transport services regarding the additional need for extra trains and extra buses. We expect sold-out stadiums, and based on our experience with other major events, we will adjust to ensure that everyone can get to our fan zones directly and easily.
Often in the women’s game, there has been a strong feeling of catering to children with marketing and other areas of the match experience. While that is good in many ways, is there more that can be done to make older fans feel like it’s also a game or tournament aimed at them?
We are considering measures for the pre-game and half-time entertainments. The measures are to attract tall and short, young and old visitors of the games. We have visited several tournaments from different sports in the past and we want to implement the best measures for our tournament. Activities like fan walks, fan choreographies, half-time interviews, live lottery and fan gadgets are under discussion. In all measures, we will involve the sponsors of the tournament. There will also be a lot of activities before, during and after the games. All the host cities plan to run great events and fan zones, and culinary delights will enhance the entertainment.
Finally, what do you believe we will experience overall at EURO 2025? What will be the lasting impression?
Our country has pledged its full support at all levels. In addition to the emotional support of the Swiss population, the federal government, cantons and cities stand fully behind the staging of the tournament; they have promised both moral and big financial support. Besides the football-related happenings, Switzerland also offers an incredible amount of tourist attractions. We have the most beautiful lakes, mountains and landscapes, picturesque towns, a very-well-functioning public transport system and a pleasant climate, from high alpine to Mediterranean. Visitors here can optimally combine football with excursions or vacations.
We offer an existing, good and functioning infrastructure, very short distances, high-quality standards, political stability and security, and an equal, cosmopolitan and enthusiastic society. We have proven our organisational talent several times and are convinced that we can put together a successful and wonderful festival for fans and media in the short time we have left.