I was watching TV a few weeks back and I saw an Ad about the Women’s Euro 2017 football tournament, I was shocked that I didn’t have any prior knowledge about it like I would have if it was a male tournament.

Are you aware of the just concluded Women’s Euro 2017 tournament Netherlands?

Did you know about It? If Yes, why? and if No, why not?

I bet only a select few persons would answer yes to both questions.

I spoke to a friend about this and he said  “I think there are more men watching men football than women watching women football. There are more women excited about men’s football than women’s football.”

3 potent reasons come to mind.

The pace of the game

The pace of male football is faster than female football for obvious reasons thus making male football more exciting to watch. Many people that watch women’s football match for the sake patriotism & loyalty to a club, well maybe that’s enough incentive.

More than one billion people watched the last Men World cup final in 2014 while the women’s World cup final that featured Japan and USA in 2015 was watched by 750 million people.

Dada Gideon quipped in saying “talking about the pace, I don’t think the difference in the pace of the game between Men and Women soccer is wide.  If you watch Germany Women play, the pace of their game is quite impressive even though it differs from that of the Men, I don’t think that’s a valid reason for the ‘setback’ women’s football is experiencing.”

So maybe pace isn’t such a strong reason but one which must still be factored.

The results are predictable.

The women’s world best player awards and competitions are dominated by certain teams and players, this is a pointer to the question of whether it’s really competitive.

FYI: Germany won the last 6 Women’s Euro football tournament.

Competitive nature of the game spurs interest.

We could argue that of recent in male football the Ronaldo and Messi era has left the world best player award revolving around two people for the past 10 years but the competitions always leave us surprised as most times we have different winners of the tournaments.

Inequality

No federation in the world offers equal financial support to the women’s and men’s programs, and neither does FIFA.

Pro FIFA: Maybe it’s just FIFA being a typical investor and choosing to put more funds into what brings higher returns at the moment. 

The development of women’s football was cut short at the height of its popularity in 1921 by the ban from the English FA, only to resume later in 1971 ( 50 years is a long time).

Women’s football was played for the first time as sports at the Olympics in Atlanta 1996 compared to men’s football which had been played since 1900.

I believe this long break affected social acceptance, as many parents are still adjusting to the acceptability of their sons taking on football as a profession.  I can only imagine that it’d take longer before girls enjoy a similar level of social acceptance. How many Messi/Ronaldo like female players have been denied the opportunity to play because it’s not socially acceptable yet.

Can it ever measure up to Men’s football?

Yessssss with time, Social acceptance appears to be the major driving factor that would even out this inequality.

 

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