WOMEN'S FOOTBALL needs more sunlight to survive. Players, referees and coaches in Berlin lament the disparity that still exists in the game.

BERLIN : The Women's World Cup final was played on Sunday in Australia, and even though the event has been a success story with the massive audience numbers, media hype and viewership, the visibility of female footballers around the world remains far from great.

The Express Tribune recently spoke to women footballers from many countries who have converged here in Berlin for the DISCOVER FOOTBALL FESTIVAL.

The consensus has been that FIFA needs to do better in promoting the women's game on an institutional level, and even though the women players across the board in the World Cup have been striving for equal rights, none of that struggle can come to fruition unless the member associations and federations change their ways.

The festival started on August 12 with a two-day symposium on the ' Unseen Game' being the theme this year.

It was followed by a tournament that has seen players, referees, and coaches along with experts representing more than 15 countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Ukraine, Georgia,Turkey, India, South Sudan, Gambia, South Africa, Kenya, Colombia, Argentina, Uganda and Cuba.


'' We still do not watch matches on the television because our channels do not have the rights to broadcast them. They did air an Asian event in 2022 but that was it. We still need to search the internet at times.

The 2023 Women's World Cup is my first really, before this I never saw any Women's World Cup match,'' said Robina Shammo, she is a data analyst who works at the national and regional level of football clubs in Iraq.

 She said that the legacy of this edition of impressive statistics of women players who are running the distances as much as men do, while she is impressed with the advancement of technology in games.


'' The visibility of women's football is something that no one can deny anymore. I watched the World Cup I saw the visibility and the justice, there is a struggle for gender equality,'' said footballer Susana Awal.

She added that her favorite player in the tournament has been USA's Megan Rapinoe.

Susana felt the legacy of this World Cup would be the emergence of the four talented players who will have the opportunity to be scouted for the European clubs.


'' I've been following Spain and Australia at this worldcup, these two were my favorite teams,'' said Afghan footballer Tamana Khoroson, who fled Kabul in 2021 and played football in Portugal before settling in Germany.

'' This is the first time I am watching the world cup, but it is also because we never had any channels that showed women's world cup.''


'' We have women's teams and football in Turkey, but we still cannot see all the matches and women's football tournaments in our country,'' explained players Buse Goksu, Aybuke Ozyidiz, and Meliz Ot.

'' There may have been some coverage of the 2019 world cup, but we can't remember. For this world cup, we are very impressed with the French goalkeeper, and we're supporting Colombia.''


'' This has been the best world cup in terms of the quality of the teams and the game,'' said Ivet Santiago Rodriquez, a referee with the Cuban federation.

'' I think the teams were strong, the level of refereeing was good too.'' She said that her favorite player from the tournament was the Brazilian legend Marta and Australia's Sam Kerr.

'' We don't have the channels that show the women's game and 2023 was the first time I watched the World Cup, there is still a lot that needs to change,'' said Rodriquez.


'' Following women's football in Iran is so difficult, we don't have TV channels showing it, and when we try to watch it on the Internet, we get it blocked, even if we are using the VPN,'' said goalkeeper Hamideh Hamidi.

'' I only get to see women's football outside of Iran.I like USA's Megan Rapinoe. But for me playing football and pursuing it has been traumatic, because of what happened in the past year.

I feel Iran can also play the women's World Cup if we get even a little support for the players.''

The World Students Society thanks Natasha Raheel.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!