FA campaign to keep more girls playing football

Girls football
Women's football is the fourth-largest participation sport in England
Women's World Cup: France v England
Venue: Moncton Stadium, Moncton, Canada Date: Tuesday, 9 June, kick-off 18:00 BST
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The Football Association hopes to encourage more girls to take up the game after finding that 25% stop playing "due to peer pressure".

Its 'We Can Play' campaign is aiming to increase the number of girls aged between seven and 11 playing football.

The FA's director of women's football, Kelly Simmons, said: "It is crucial to increase girls' confidence that football is a sport for them."

England play France in their Women's World Cup opener in Canada on Tuesday.

The FA, which says women's football is the fourth-largest participation sport in England, will also tackle derogatory material online.

"Currently, the search term 'football girls' generates a series of sexual images and videos that the FA does not believe provides a platform to inspire girls to play the sport," the FA said.

We Can Play
The FA wants women's football to become the second biggest participation sport in England, behind men's football, by 2018

FA research showed that almost 50% of girls asked do not think football is a game for them and 80% of girls who do play do not feel confident doing so.

Simmons added: "We need to ask ourselves - why do these perceptions still pervade? The profile and professionalism of the women's game has never been greater.

"We are doing our part to ensure the game is an attractive mass participation sport for girls and women and now it is the turn of society to ask itself, why does it allow antiquated attitudes to persist?"