In 1998, Hope Powell became the manager of England women’s team. She simultaneously became both the first black manager of an England football team of either sex and the first woman to manage an England team of either sex. See the profile of her in the Biographies section of this website.
In 1999 Aman Dosanj became the first footballer of South Asian origin to play for England when she played in goal for England women's under-16s. She progressed to play for England under-18s, for Arsenal and Southampton and became an FA 'Football for All' Ambassador.
Permi Jhooti became the first Asian to play professional football in England in the modern era when she signed for Fulham in 2000 during Fulham's short-lived attempt to bring women's professional football to England..
In September 2005, a UK Muslim Women’s futsal (5-a-side football) team went to Iran to compete in the Fourth International Islamic Women's Games in Tehran. The team was sponsored by the Muslim News newspaper which has also set up the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation (MWSF).
Football Unites commissioned a small piece of research in 2001 about ethnic minority girls’ perceptions and experiences of football. The study concluded that the main factor preventing them from playing football was sexism rather than racism or cultural factors – they feared that boys would make them feel inferior. The report, ‘Crossing the Line: A Study into Ethnic Minority Girls’ Perceptions and Experiences of Football’, can be borrowed from our library.
Our library also has a dissertation called ‘Asians Off Side: The Asian Female Football Experience’ by Jaya Kudhail (2003). This was also a small-scale study based on a series of interviews with women who’d been involved in football at a variety of levels. They reported little racism but barriers were seen as including the lack of opportunities offered by women's football in its current state, cultural factors affecting Muslim women and football, and lack of family support. A noticeable difference was observed between Indian and Pakistani responses with Pakistani Muslim women mentioning religious factors whereas Indian non-Muslim women did not.