Express & Star

Star comment: All eyes on the prize at Women’s World Cup

Today's Star includes an eight-page special on the Women’s World Cup, a celebration of the game being held in Australia.

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The Women's World Cup is held aloft

The event comes a week or so after a report was released that predicts the women’s game can become a billion pound industry within 10 years.

Women’s sport has been transformed in recent years. Football, cricket and rugby have all emerged as a major draw for spectators, and netball’s Premier League has also increased its profile.

Football undoubtedly remains Britain’s number one sport and the women’s game has brilliantly tapped into our enthusiasm for the game.

The standards shown by England in winning the Euros were breathtaking, as was the atmosphere at Wembley for the final. The contrast to the toxicity within the stadium for the men’s final was startling. The women’s game is one for families and where rival supporters can mix happily. Long may that continue.

A review chaired by the former England international Karen Carney calls for wholesale change across the game, from enhancing minimum standards for professionals to “rapid growth” in the development of young talent.

She argues that to finance necessary adaptations, new solutions must also be considered, including allowing women’s football to be broadcast at 3pm on a Saturday and raising prize money in the women’s FA Cup to match those seen in the men’s competition.

These are exciting times for the women’s game, not just here but globally. The chance is there for England to expand to create world-leading league and cup competitions, which can also inspire a new generation.


Artificial sweetener is the latest foodstuff to become concerned about.

It comes after aspartame, used in diet drinks, ice cream and other products, was linked to a possible cause of cancer.

The over-arching theme of advice over the matter is: ‘Don’t panic’.

Before binning your sweetener, consider the advice from experts, who suggest it is perfectly safe in moderation. And consider also the alternative.

Excess sugar is linked to obesity and diabetes. Meanwhile, an average person weighing 70kg would need to consume between nine and 14 cans of diet soft drink per day to exceed the daily aspartame guideline.

Experts liken the debate to our relationship to sunlight. Some sun is actually good for us. But in excess it can potentially cause cancer, so we should be sensible.