IT is now less than a year until Southampton welcomes the UEFA Women's EURO 2022.

The city has been selected to host three games at the tournament during the group stage at St Mary's.

Now, the city's Business Improvement District (BID), Go!Southampton says that the tournament brings "a great opportunity" to ensure that the local area benefits from the event, as well as creating a "lasting legacy" for women’s and girls’ football.

As part of the legacy, Southampton will be launching opportunities and programmes for women and girls to play football.

Key people in Southampton that will benefit from the tournament legacy gathered at The Bargate on Tuesday to launch the 365 day countdown.

The legacy programme sets out the plans across the nine Host Cities to deliver 500,000 new football opportunities to engage women and girls by 2024.

This is expected to result in 120,000 more girls playing in schools and clubs and 20,000 women playing for fun and friendship.

In addition, 300 newly FA-qualified female coaches will double the number currently involved across the host cities.

Leader of Southampton City Council, Cllr Daniel Fitzhenry, said: “As we aim to get Southampton moving, hosting three games of the tournament in Southampton will bring so many opportunities to the city, not only for the local economy, but the lasting legacy it will bring for women and young people to participate in sport for years to come.”

Executive Director of GO! Southampton, Giles Semper added: “It’s an exciting thought that this time next year, Southampton will be welcoming thousands of people into the city for one of the biggest sporting events in Europe, allowing our businesses to thrive in what we hope will be a COVID-free environment."