According to the Football Association website, 2011 has been a pivotal year for women’s football. They’ve managed to develop a new
semi-professional league, compromising of a whole eight clubs which play regularly in the summer months and they’ve even managed to secure a grand total of four official sponsors. There’s also been huge developments in coverage with live television streams and . . Wait, who I am kidding?
Despite the official ramblings of the FA, women’s football still remains somewhat uncharted territory in the minds of many. We know it exists and we presume some people are quite into it, but that’s a far as we go. Feminism and equality aside, can anyone really imagine any group of football loving lads, sat round the pub TV with their pints watching an nice game of women’s footie? Well, not unless they’ve got their tits out.
Yet bizarre as it sounds, German women’s footballers have jumped on the idea, hoping to draw popularity to the sport by bringing some alternative skills to the field. Over 300 women competed in a knock-out tournament with only 12 prizes – one page each on a new raunchy calendar to hit shelves next year. And it’s not merely the amateurs agreeing, as Jullia Simic, international midfielder for the country talks of how she’s pleased that women’s football is ditching it’s tomboy look and giving way to “more and more sweet pretty girls”.
But whilst pictures of scantily clad women and balls might give some hype to the sport, as seen when the German team appeared in an issue of Playboy earlier this year, it’s hardly the image that women’s football needs. By pressuring players in appearing as almost soft porn models, we’re inadvertently pushing out those women who may prefer the tomboy look, whilst thoroughly degrading the sport.
Women without clothes definitely do have a place in life, in our magazines, film and general seduction, but notably not in sport. Whilst women’s football may not appear to a mass market, it is a serious niche sport, with real enthusiasts and real talents. By simply degrading it to a bunch of boobs running round on legs, just so more people feel the need to tune in with the lads and beer, we’re losing the essence of what women’s football is really about – women playing football.
Like it or not Women’s Football is never going to be a main stream sport, we should stop trying to make it one.