Simply the best: Fifa salute German efficiency

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The Independent Football

It's the mother of all Women's World Cups and Germany, at least, is watching. Crowds in the group stage averaged a fraction under 25,000 – and admission is not cheap, with the lowest-priced ticket for a group game 10€ (£9) and the dearest for the final in Frankfurt going for €200.

TV-wise, each of Germany's three group outings drew well over 16 million viewers, around a fifth of the population. The 1999 World Cup in America and 2007 in China both boasted bigger attendances, each averaging some 37,000, but in comparative terms – Germany's population is 82 million, America's 310 million and China's 1.34 billion – this one is biggest.

"This is my third World Cup," said the Fifa spokesperson Segolene Valentin, "and it is definitely the best. The Local Organising Committee have done an amazing job in promoting the tournament, the crowds have been enthusiastic and knowledgeable and the atmosphere, not just in the grounds but in the cities as well, has been great.

"A number of people who were involved in organising the [men's] 2006 World Cup here [in Germany] have been involved in this one too and it feels like a proper World Cup in every way."

Germany 2011 is a massive step forward from Euro 2005, efficiently hosted by England. Although tickets were just £5 for adults and £2.50 for juniors, average crowds were under 8,000 for the tournament, staged at grounds in the North-west. "We organised an excellent tournament," said the England coach, Hope Powell, "but the downside was we haven't generated that support continuously since then.

"Hopefully the profile of the game will be raised higher than ever through our efforts at this tournament."

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