ST MARY’S Stadium has been chosen to host matches for a major women’s football tournament.

After playing a major part in England’s successful bid to entertain the tournament, St Mary’s Stadium is set to stage games during UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 in three years time.

The ground, which hosted one of the Lioness’s World Cup qualifiers in April, was one of eight put forward in the Football Association’s proposal. This was then approved by the UEFA Executive Committee yesterday.

Martin Glenn, The FA’s chief executive officer, said: “Bringing EURO 2021 to England will be a tremendous opportunity to celebrate women’s football and will allow us to amplify our significant commitment to growing the game.

“We cannot underestimate the positive impact this tournament will have on inspiring the next generation.

“Young girls and boys will be lifted by the chance to see Europe’s elite on their doorstep and it can only help the collective effort across our leagues and clubs to grow the game even further, especially with our restructured Women’s Super League making such a promising start.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has worked on this successful bid – not just across The FA but also the clubs and cities concerned.

“A huge amount of effort and collaboration has gone into making this possible.”

England previously staged the tournament in 2005 at venues across the north-west of the country.

Nearly 30,000 people watched the host’s opening win in Manchester against Finland.

During last year’s games, hosted by the Netherlands, the Lionesses reached the semi-finals creating a record audience of four million TV viewers in the UK.

This year, no other nations went up against the FA’s entry which meant an automatic qualify for England to host the 16-team finals.

The draw for the qualifying group stage will be held on February 22 followed by the qualifiers that will be played from August 2019 to September 2020 to determine 12 of the finalists.