THANKS to the BBC, more people than ever before have watched women’s football this summer.

They cannot have failed to be impressed with what they have seen.

Football played at speed, some unbelievable passing and great goals.

And for me, apart from Cameroon, no players surrounding and snarling in the face of the referee when a decision goes against them.

I have been a supporter of women’s football since before there was any (official) women’s football.

It’s well known the FA decided football was ‘not suitable for females’ in 1921, despite its popularity.

A women’s’ game at Elm Park drew a bigger crowd than the last men’s match.

Although they couldn’t ban it outright, for 50 years any club affiliated to the FA were forbidden from allowing women’s games to be played at their grounds.

In the 1970s I invited the secretary of the Women’s FA as a guest speaker at a Reading Referees monthly meeting.

I was very disappointed when she was due to speak, half the members walked out. The FA took control of the WFA and women’s football in 1993.

There has been some criticism of the women referees in France, one former player saying there should have been male referees taking part.

I disagree, I think they have been excellent and including the assistant referees, very professional.

Their decision-making has been no worse than in the last men’s world cup.

What was the poor Chinese referee supposed to do with the Cameroons? Her assessors rating for that match was ‘good’.

Football teams that don’t make it to the final stages, go home. The same is true of referees, and she was one who stayed.

Sadly, England has only two assistant referees at the Women’s World Cup, but remember other countries had a head start, as the FA also banned women referees.

The first woman to go through our training team at Reading, was not allowed to referee men’s football, even though she passed the exam.

Here’s looking forward to the next Women’s World Cup with hopefully some English referees.