Chelsea defender Millie Bright has admitted she would like to see away goals introduced in the WSL, praising the added intensity they can bring to a game.
Segregated away sections are still something of a novelty in women’s football, with clubs not usually selling tickets to traveling supporters in an allocated section of the ground. Away fans often have to create an account for the home club’s website when buying tickets, and rival fans mingle harmoniously at matches.
Both Manchester United and Chelsea fans have been particularly vocal in campaigning for the introduction of away goals, while Ian Wright pleaded for the lack of WSL away sections to change following England’s victory at Euro 2022.
Chelsea’s recent Champions League group game at Kingsmeadow saw opponents Vllaznia build a strong away following, and they helped create a raucous atmosphere gathered behind one of the goals.
“We need it,” Bright said. “I think all the players will agree that we want that in the women’s game. It’s intense but that’s how you want matches to be. It can change a match, it can swing momentum for or against.
“I think the fans are enjoying it and it shows what football in Europe is all about and we want to bring that to the WSL as well.”
Manchester United’s dramatic 3-2 win over Arsenal in the WSL on Saturday also earned United an away section at the Emirates.
Over 1,000 United fans gathered in the corner behind the goal as Millie Turner and Alessia Russo scored late goals as United came from 2-1 down to end Arsenal’s flawless start to the WSL season – sparking scenes of delirium from the electric traveling support.
“It’s probably the thing I’ve been clamoring for the most, I’ve wanted the most,” Chelsea boss Emma Hayes added. “I’ve always felt that we have to separate in certain sections, it creates atmosphere. For fan safety, it has to be like that.
“Seeing the Man Utd-Arsenal game and seeing the Man Utd fans there in their numbers; this is what needs to happen going forward. Everything that happens is a step up from where the game has been and I think inevitably this time Next year it won’t be a conversation we have because I imagine those things will be in place.”