Matches at a 4,700-seat stadium -- Are UEFA and the FA selling women's football short?

    (CNN)Attendances in women's football have undergone a remarkable rise in recent years and, across the world, records have tumbled.

    At the Camp Nou, Barcelona Femení set consecutive world records for the highest attendance at a women's football match, with 91,648 fans watching the Catalans take on VfL Wolfsberg earlier this year; England women's broke the record for the highest attendance at a Lionesses' home fixture in 2019, with 77,768 -- and even Newcastle United smashed its attendance record in its first game at St. James' Park, with 22,134 watching its match in the fourth-tier of English women's football.
    The demand, in Europe especially, has never been higher, which is why eyebrows have been raised over the stadiums selected to host the Women's European Championship currently taking place in England.
      Critics argue that the English Football Association (FA) and UEFA, European football's governing body, have not seized the moment.
        Although the 10 host venues include such behemoths as Wembley Stadium and Old Trafford -- which will host one match each -- games will also be played at the 8,000-seat Leigh Sports Village stadium and the 12,000-seat New York Stadium in Rotherham.
        The smallest host stadium is the Manchester City Academy Stadium, part of the English Premier League club's state-of-the-art training complex, which has a capacity of just 4,700. Like the Leigh Sports Village stadium, which is in Greater Manchester, capacity is limited due to regulations preventing standing areas.
        England playing against China during a friendly match at the Manchester City Academy Stadium on April 9, 2015.

        'A little bit disappointed'

          The first of three matches to take place at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, home to Manchester City's women's team, is Belgium's Group D match against Iceland on July 10.
          In April, Juventus and Iceland midfielder Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir told the 'Their Pitch' podcast that she was "a little bit disappointed" at the choice of stadium.
          "It's shocking. Playing in England, there are so many stadiums and we have a training ground from City taking what, 4,000 spectators?" Gunnarsdóttir said.
          "It's embarrassing. It's not the respect (we deserve). Watch women's football today, they are filling out the stadiums. You see Barcelona and Madrid, 95,000 watching the game (at the Camp Nou). They are not prepared that we will sell more tickets than 4,000.
          "It's disrespectful towards women's football because it's so much bigger than people think. You think women's football is getting two steps ahead, but then something comes up like that, it's just a step back."
          Rachel O'Sullivan, women's football expert and co-founder of media outlet Girlsontheball, said that the choice of two sub-10,000 capacity stadiums for a major tournament was a "little bit unambitious."
          "There has been a bit of a habit in the women's game of not expecting it to be so big and not expecting it to grow the way it is," O'Sullivan, who said she was "disappointed and surprised" when she saw the stadium choices, told CNN Sport.
          "If you're looking at the evidence, it has been growing exponentially -- and the 2019 World Cup really showed us that. Many were surprised by the numbers who wanted to take up football and get involved in football -- and we shouldn't be. We should be expecting that."
          Manchester City Academy Stadium situated next to the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City's men's home ground.