FIFA Women's World Cup
Fifty-eight years after the first World Cup for men was organised in 1930 and some seventeen years after the FA had lifted the ban on women's football, FIFA organised a tournament in 1988 to establish whether a World Cup competition for women's teams would be feasible. Hosted by China, twelve teams were invited to take part, four from UEFA, three from the Asian Confederation, two from CONCACEF and one each from South America, Africa and Oceania. The tournament was won by Norway who beat their neighbours Sweden in the final while Brazil beat the hosts on penalties to take third place.
The tournament was considered a success and on 30 June 1988 FIFA announced the official World Cup would take place in 1991, again in China.
Twelve teams competed in 1991 and 1995 before the competition was expanded to sixteen in 1999. In 2015 there was a further expansion to 24 teams.
The first tournament was sponsored by Mars Inc and the original trophy was officially designated the M&M's Cup.
The current trophy was designed in 1998 by William Sawaya and hand-crafted by speciaiilsts at Sawaya & Moroni, the Milanese design studio. This originally had a stepped base in red granite but this was replaced in 2010 with a conical base. The trophy is 45cm tall (18") and crafted from sterling silver plated in 23 carat yellow and white gold. A new trophy is made for each tournament and the winning team keeps this in perpetuity.