Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Sexism in football...

...Gabby Logan reveals all.

Last year, Gabby Logan presented an in depth documentary exploring the issue of sexism in the beautiful game. The FA have spent a lot of money over the years to try an kick out racism and homophobia within the game, running projects and campaigns to highlight the problems that exist. Yet the issue of sexism within football continues to be tolerated, mainly down to the assumptions that it's a "man's game".

Speaking about her reasons to make the programme, Logan said: “The sport has been so male-dominated for so long that you’re going to get people who will have to break ground and encounter things for the first time. 
Any women working in football will have had their share of crude and lewd things said to them that just wouldn’t happen in any other industry. But all the same, some of what we discovered was shocking…”

Women have been verbally, physically and sexually harrassed, whether its in the club, on the terraces, in board meetings or other areas. Nobody wants to be a whistleblower, especially when the perpetrators are high profile names with the ability to cover their actions.

On a personal level, it doesn't just happen at the highest levels-the professional football clubs or the media world. It happens on the streets, in parks, schools, junior clubs. Children are still being brought up believing football is for boys and dressing up is for girls. For a young girl to take to the sport and actually enjoy it, she's seen as a tomboy. Judged through her childhood because of wanting studs instead of heels, a ponytail instead of pretty hair accessories, scruffy sports clothing instead of the latest fashion. I know that's not always the case, but it's still an obvious root cause of sexism I believe, the early years. For as long as football is male dominated, females will always be fighting to prove themselves. Start with the youths, educate them and integrate them. Kick it out!

See the below link for Gabby's amazing documentary:
Watch Sexism in Football? (2012) Online Free - Watch Free Movies Online

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

It's a man's world out there...

...but that didn't stop Jacqui Oatley.

In 2007, Oatley became the first female presenter of BBC's Match Of The Day. After years of hard work, defying the odds, Oatley proved herself amongst her peers. Rising up from the ranks of reporting for local radio, to national tv coverage on a regular basis. 

Oatley has stated many times that she has no issue with sexism: It’s just prejudice, and if people are prejudiced, then good luck to them. That won’t bother me.” A lot of people criticised her credentials, assuming she was more bothered about watching the men in shorts and admiring their muscles. 

She reckons that it's not necessarily an issue with the lack of women being given the chance to report on football, but more so, the lack of supply. “I also always have the impression that any woman reporting on sport has to prove themselves worthy enough to be doing so and people always seem so much more critical of their reporting. Men don’t have to prove they know their sport inside and out, it’s just assumed they do.” 

Football is a male-dominated sport, players/coaches/reporters/managers boards, all predominantly male. So for a young woman growing up wanting to become a sports journalist or reporter, there's not many role models for them to look upto. Some maybe don't want the hassle of being associated with the game and constantly having to 'prove' themselves. Netherless, times are changing (albeit slowly), and more and more females are getting involved in the game. See http://www.kickitout.org/1272.php for more stories and information on kicking sexism out of football.

FA Hope for a fresh outlook...

...as today they announce the sacking of England Women's head coach, Hope Powell.

Hope Powell's 15 year reign has come to an end this morning, with the FA stating: "After the disappointment of the recent tournament in Sweden, the Club England Board believe the time is right to make a change and for a fresh outlook."

Powell was the first woman to gain a UEFA Pro License, after a successful playing career which saw her score 35 goals out of 66 England appearances. Her biggest achievement as coach was taking the England Womens side to the European Finals in 2009, unfortunately losing out in the final to Germany.

Yes it's unfortunate for any manager to get sacked, but in this case, Hope has done something that not many have done before. She has left a legacy behind and she has paved the way for a new manager to come in and improve on her efforts. It's rare nowadays for a manager to sustain a job in football for that long, although she has had her fair share of controversy as manager, she fought so much for women's football in England. Whoever her successor is, it needs to be the right person for the job, whether male or female. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

And the award for 'Outstanding Contribution To P*ssing People Off' goes to...

...the one, the only, Sepp Blatter.

Does this man ever know when to shut up? How much longer will his Jurassic views, corrupt and inappropriate behaviour be allowed to continue?

In 2004, SB made comments suggesting females wear tighter shorts to help promote the game: "They could, for example, have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men - such as playing with a lighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion? Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball."

As if women are going to agree with that?! Ok then, yes we'll wear tighter shorts. We'll suffer tight fabric riding up our crotches and causing discomfort, just for the viewing pleasure of perverted male spectators like yourself. Hey, why don't we scrap the t-shirts too and just play in sports bra's like they do in volleyball as well. We'll do that for you, because of course every little girl growing up liking football only wants to play so she can wear minimal clothing and promote a "sexier" game. God forbid they ever want to play football for the sheer enjoyment, become better players and achieve success!

In 2013, he managed to patronize the females attending the FIFA congress in Mauritius stating: "Any ladies in this room? Say something ladies! You are always speaking at home. Now you can speak here." In the same week, he described a candidate for it's executive committee, Moya Dodd, as "good, and good looking."

Unfortunately, for the vast majority who oppose this man, he is one of the most powerful men in sport. It is more likely that one day he will step down from his position, rather than a day when he is voted out of it. For now, FIFA will continue to cover up his blunders and he will continue to contradict all their campaigns against sexism/racism/bullying etc. SMH.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Two men and a scandal...

...Starring Andy Gray and Richard Keys.

I know it was a few years ago now, but nobody forgets the story of Sian Massey's second BPL appearance. This woman will have started running the line in the minor English football leagues across the country years ago. Spending her weekends down the side of muddy, uneven pitches on the coldest and wettest of days. She'll have gone through the usual array of abuse that match officials unfortunately have to put up with and yet she still continued to strive for higher achievements. It's a tough job officiating any match, constant training and exams to pass throughout. 

After all that, to be judged and ridiculed on TV by an ex-professional player (who in his experience should know the difficulties officials face), and a TV pundit, is quite frankly disgusting. Admittedly, Sky dealt with the issue in a way they felt appropriate (much to their embarrassment), quickly and people moved on from it. But the issue still remains, sexism exists all around and it's only until a high profile case is pin pointed, that actions have been taken. 

Many footballers, managers and people associated with the game, stood up for Massey. It was nice to see the amount of support she received, albeit there was still mindless comments from the Gray/Keys fanclub, but overall most people were backing her fully. Sian has since continued to display professionalism and is regarded highly as an official, recently being part of the women's European finals.

See this link for 5 videos that ended Keys/Gray's careers. Credit to Joe.ie