England won a women's major football tournament for the first time by beating Germany in the Euro 2022 final. AFP News/FRANCK FIFE

Former England Lioness, Karen Carney MBE, has published her findings and recommendations of her review to improve the future development of domestic women's football.

Carney, a sports journalist, played as a midfielder for Chelsea. Carney played in over 140 games for England, four Euros, four World Cups, and the 2012 Olympic Games, before retiring in 2019.

In her independent report, which was commissioned by the Government in September 2022, Carney called for the Women's Super League and the Women's Championship to be recognised as fully professional environments.

The former Chelsea player also highlighted that, before the Women's World Cup kicks off on July 20, a new broadcast slot should be dedicated to women's football.

In her report, Carney investigated gender equality in professional sports organisations and examined the opportunities and challenges for women and girls who play football. The former Footballer also discussed the issues facing the game's long-term development.

In her research, the sports journalist studied the physical, hormonal, and psychological challenges that women and girls will face from the commercial future of the game to the current professional environment.

Experts recently discovered that women football players are alarmingly four to six more times likely to rupture their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – one of the key ligaments that assist with stabilising the knee joint.

Since May 2022, more than 20 footballers in top women's teams have torn their ACLs.

Dr Katrine Okholm Kryger, a senior lecturer in sports medicine at St Mary's University in London, reiterated that while conducting research on women athletes, "we have to be really careful".

Dr Kryger continued: "When we talk about this in women's football because there is a tendency within research and within the media of being like 'oh, women are so unstable, fragile, because of their anatomy, their hormonal fluctuations' but we haven't proven that is the cause of these injuries."

Experts have analysed the physical and hormonal differences between the sexes, but there has been no proven cause as to why ACL injuries are more prevalent in women.

Leah Williamson announces that she will not be playing in the England squad for the Women's World Cup 2023.

Leah Williamson, the Captain of the England Lionesses and Centre Back for Arsenal, collapsed on the pitch in April, after rupturing her ACL. Due to her injury, she revealed that she is unable to compete at the Women's World Cup 2023.

Beth Mead "Meado", who is also an England Lioness and Forward for Arsenal, was named Player of the Tournament following the Lionesses' victory at the UEFA Euros in 2022. Beth Mead was also a victim of an ACL injury, which led to her losing her spot in the England squad for the Women's World Cup.

Speaking of the huge amount of ACL injuries in women's football, Beth Mead said: "There's been a lot this season just gone. There's a lot of questions why, that's the frustrating thing."

Lucy Bronze, who plays alongside Leah Williamson Beth Mead in the England Lionesses, spoke out against the inequality in terms of research into men's and women's football and called the current studies on ACL injuries "the bare minimum".

Amid the preparations for the Women's World Cup in Australia, Bronze said: "The men have a lot more resources given to them, a lot more finance put into them... If the research is there because the men have it, we have it."

The recommendations made in Karen Carney's report include the FA uplifting the duty of care provision for players, the FA addressing the lack of diversity across the women's game – in and off-pitch roles, and the Government delivering on recent commitments regarding equal access to school sports for girls.

Carney concluded: "It is clear that the women's game in this country can become a world-leading sport that not only generates immense economic and social value but sets the standards for women's professional sport globally."