The English Football Association (FA) said that poor weather kept almost 9,000 ticket holders away from Wembley Stadium on Saturday as the Lionesses lost 2-1 to Germany.

The international friendly welcomed 77,768 fans to the iconic stadium, marking the largest crowd for an England women’s football match in the country.

However, the FA had confirmed that all 86,619 tickets had been sold out for the match, meaning almost 9,000 seat were left empty at the national stadium. The gate also fell short of the 80,203 fans that had attended the London 2012 Olympic final between the USA and Japan, which was a record for women’s football in England.

Saturday brought with it heavy rain and cold winds, which the governing body claimed was one of the main reasons many people chose to stay at home.

Over 80,000 tickets of the more than 86,000 seats were paid for while a small number were gifted to former players as well as members of the Armed Forces via Tickets for Troops on the weekend of Remembrance Sunday.

The fixture was not available to Club Wembley members, though as of next season members will be given the option to opt into women’s football matches due to high demand.

The FA’s head of women’s football, Sue Campbell, said, according to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper: “We are delighted to have broken the attendance record for an England women’s match.

“To see Wembley so full and to experience such a tremendous atmosphere was a joy to behold. It felt like a truly historic moment in the development of the women’s game.”

Image: James Boyes