2009 FIRA Women's European Trophy
The 2009 FIRA tournament acted as the continent's 2010 World Cup qualifying tournament. The top four nations from the 2009 Six Nations had automatically qualified, but nations finishing fifth and sixth (Scotland and Italy) joined Spain, Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium to decide the final two places.
The teams were divided into two pools, the "seeding" broadly based on FIRA rankings, with the pool winners qualifying:
- Seed 1: Scotland (Pool A)
- Seed 2: Italy (Pool B)
- Seed 3: Spain (Pool B)
- Seed 4: Netherlands (Pool A)
- Seed 5: Russia (Pool A)
- Seed 6: Sweden (Pool B)
- Seed 7: Germany (Pool B)
- Seed 8: Belgium (Pool A)
After the completion of the pool phase, the tournament itself did not have a "final", nor any other classification games.
As expected, Scotland qualified from Pool A with no problems - but it always looked a tougher prospect for fellow Six Nations team Italy, in Pool B, as they would have to beat Spain - something they had never managed before. But when it came to the event neither Italy nor Spain were to qualify, but rather hosts and sixth seeds Sweden, who shocked everyone by first beating Italy and then Spain - in both cases coming from behind in the dying minutes of the game.
Other games in the tournament followed the seedings - and were embarrassingly one-sided in many cases - demonstrating the gulf that continues to exist between the leading eight or nine nations in Europe and the rest.
Famous quotes containing the words european and/or women:
“Unsophisticated and confiding, they are easily led into every vice, and humanity weeps over the ruin thus remorselessly inflicted upon them by their European civilizers.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“Our fathers waged a bloody conflict with England, because they were taxed without being represented. This is just what unmarried women of property are now.”
—Angelina Grimké (18051879)