The women’s wooden spoon suffers from much the same problem as the men’s. The weak teams do not have the time or money to travel great distances, and thus it is unlikely to stray very far geographically. In the women’s case, it has never even left Europe. Undoubtedly, there are much weaker teams in other corners of the globe, but they are unlikely to have to contest the spoon – not for a long time, anyway.
After losing the first ever official women’s international to France, it was Holland who were the first women’s wooden spooners. Switzerland, France and Switzerland again followed, before the Swiss beat Austria in 1978. Having taken the spoon, Austria took 12 years to play a match, so had only themselves to blame for being wooden spooners for so long. After six unsuccessful attempts, they finally offloaded it in 1993.
Over the ensuing years, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Switzerland, Greece (again) and Turkey took the spoon. When it found its way to Bosnia in 1999, it looked set to stay for a long time. They had taken the spoon by losing 6-2 to Turkey; they then lost 13-0 to Hungary in their next game. After some more very heavy defeats, they finally beat Turkey in 2002. The Turks then went on a four and a half year inactive spell of their own, before beating Northern Ireland in 2006.
The Ulsterwomen kept the spoon for only two days before beating Georgia. The Georgians then beat Macedonia in 2009. Since then, Macedonia have tried to offload the spoon ten times, but with a notable lack of success; in those ten games, they have scored three goals, and conceded 76. So Macedonia are the worst women’s team in the world! It will take a very bad team indeed to dispossess them of the spoon!
You can follow the progress of the women’s UFWC wooden spoon over at the UFWC Forum.
Read more UFWC spin-off features.