Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Firing Blancs...

...PSG coach Laurent causes a stir with sexist comments towards a Swedish journalist.

Earlier this month, Blanc addressed journalists in a press conference regarding his current team, Paris St-Germain. When Swedish journo Johanna Franden stepped forward to question his recent decision to change the team's formation, she was met with sexist remarks, mocking and insulting her intelligence.

JF: "You started the season with 4-4-2, but switched to 4-3-3 after a few games..."
LB: "So, women who talk tactics in football, it's so beautful ... I think it's fantastic! You know what 4-3-3 means, right?"
JF: "Yes, that's my profession."
LB: "I mean, there's many ways to play on ... haha, I'm just kidding."

Franden, who works for Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet, has experience of working in Italy, France and Spain covering football. She welcomes the debate over Blanc's remarks with open arms, but insists she doesn't want to gain extra attention and fame from the controversy. 

"I have no ambition to make a name for myself because of a ribald comment I heard on the job and who have grown gigantic entirely on their own and out of my control."

If there is one thing she hopes results from this, it's that attitudes towards females involved in football, are more widely discussed and issues are addressed. His comments aren't the first she's heard of this nature and certainly not the worst, Franden explains in her article here. But if anything is increasingly more apparent, it's that football is still widely regarded as a man's game across the world. Unfortunately, women who venture into football careers, whether journalists/players/coaches etc, are almost expecting and preparing themselves for these varying levels of abuse. If high profile men such as Sepp Blatter and Laurent Blanc can get away with these sexist attitudes, then when will it ever stop!

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