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Women's Football News
International women's football teams will debut in an award-winning video game for the first time ever, with the latest release of FIFA 16 out this week.
Five of England's World Cup squad were drawn from Manchester City Women's FC, including Steph Houghton who plays for and captain's the team as well as the national side.
The Club planned a launch event at the Etihad Stadium's City Store, where fans gathered to pick up limited edition copies of the new title, and to catch a glimpse of the England players.
Manchester City Women's FC were on hand to help launch the 23rd edition in the FIFA franchise with the line up including skipper Steph, goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, defender Lucy Bronze, midfielder Jill Scott and striker Toni Duggan. A sign of the growth of women's football, the release of FIFA 16 comes only months after the staging of the Women's World Cup in Canada which saw England reach the semi finals while the United States took the title, beating Japan 5-2 in the final.
As one of the biggest names in the genre, and one of the most popular console and PC titles of all time, the inclusion of multiple women's national sides is unprecedented and will provide an important platform for women's football here in the UK and abroad. Introducing twelve international women's teams including England, USA, Brazil and Germany, the move has been long awaited by sports fans around the world and backing from FIFA is a significant step forward by the world's largest football organisation.
Speaking at the City event, Steph Houghton said: "This is a huge moment for women's football. FIFA's always been a really big part of my life growing up and to see that my England team mates and I have been immortalised as avatars in the world's biggest football game is fantastic.
"I think FIFA and EA SPORT's decision to include us for the first time shows just how far women's football has come over the past few years. Seeing us in the game will hopefully inspire more girls to get involved."
FIFA 16 is set to include new features to enhance gameplay such as ping driven ground passes to enable gamers to find teammates in tight spaces to open up attacking options. Developers also promise smarter team mates, with AI that enables players to look for space which will allow for more opportunities to build play through the midfield.
On the day all five players will replace their Twitter profiles with their FIFA avatar and will encourage fans to join in discussion about the new game using the existing hashtags #wereinthegame and #lionesses.
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