1) Games are more enjoyable
There is not as much pressure on the women’s team since it is less supported. When I was growing up and playing football myself, I noticed that the female matches aired on TV were delegated to BBC3 in favour of nothing important on the main channels. We did not even make it to BBC2. If it was a men’s game, even a friendly, everyone might as well head off to the pub. Not to mention that the games are more accessible and feasible, which hasn’t changed much throughout the last decade in which attendances have doubled for female games.
2) The pay is not ridiculous
There are no show boats because they are worth £49 million. Look at Raheem Sterling; he transferred to Manchester City last summer, and has he lived up to his multi-million pound price tag? With only six goals and two assists all season, as well as that performance in the opening FIFA World Cup game, I think not. Wayne Rooney earns £300,000 per week compared to the £35,000 per year that only the top earners of the women’s game are paid. Tell me again that women have achieved equality to men?
Image: Flickr/ jshowell
3) The games are more entertaining
Recently in a Euro 2017 qualifier, the England Women’s team beat Serbia 7-0, with Karen Carney bagging a hat-trick. Even in games from the FIFA World Cup in 2015, the women’s games were tight, end to end, kept getting media attention, and were supported by the nation. Even if the female game is not necessarily as fast paced, strong, or as physical as the men’s, its statistics in terms of skill level and tactics are at their highest following the World Cup.
4) The players play for the game
Another thing that puts people off men’s football are the players themselves. On and off the pitch, some players show time after time how sportsmanship has really headed downhill. You have got the classic diver and injury feigner category: Ashley Young, Arjen Robben, Etc. Then you have got the undisciplined and dirty players: Roy Keane, Joey Barton, Etc. Finally, the controversial category: Luis Suarez, Mario Balotelli, the list could go on. In women’s football, there is not any of that. Arguably because it does not have as much a following, but then again, perhaps it is because they are in it for the game, rather than the money and the fame.
5) It doesn’t revolve around posing, flashy cars, and maintaining a media image
Everything the top male footballers do is portrayed in the media in the form of scandals, criticism, and praise – although not so often. The women’s team on the other hand, have reached the UEFA Women’s Euros final twice, whilst England’s men never have, so it literally and statistically is more successful. So maybe this lack of media attention is one of the reasons why the women’s team do so well, they focus more on the game itself, rather than letting other things interfere with performance.
6) The women’s game is full of grassroots
From a young age there are youth teams in place to support the growth of players. For example, Fara Williams, who started playing football aged seven progressed to be in Chelsea’s first team by 17. By 2007 she had cemented her place in the England team, and has since captained and scored for England in Euro 2009. Men’s football has a grassroots system too, however, it does not appear to be as successful as the women’s. The football system is so dominated by money that teams in the English Premier League pay multi-millions to bring in international stars, while our national team who could not even qualify for Euro 2008.
Image: Flickr/ joshjdss
7) Women’s football provides role models for young girls
Seeing other women be successful from something they love and put passion into offers inspiration by giving them something to focus on. It also diverts from the stereotypes of what a woman is, for example, the traditional and outdated views on how a women’s role is to stay in the home and that sport is just for men. Even globally, women’s football is a way to escape things. For girls living in developing countries, watching their national team of women achieving something and playing the game gives them hope they can achieve something too, despite what may be going on around them.
Women’s football gets nowhere near enough recognition as it should do, and it needs to. It is simply not enough that the mass media support for it only exists within a tournament and then dies when the men are back. Even more so now after the FIFA scandal. The removal of the misogynistic and unapologetically sexist Sepp Blatter should be use to change the way the game is perceived. If you really want another man who thinks that the women’s game will only become more popular if the kit is more “tightly cut,” then you are a part of the problem.