We are all aware of the Womens Rights Act which took place in the 80’s but 30 years later is there really equality between Men and Women? Especially in Football? If I was to ask you what the last Women’s England match was would you know? If I was to ask you who the top scorer in England Women’s football was would you be able to give me a name? I bet you could answer both questions without hesitation if I was asking about England men’s football.
Fara Williams. A name that rings a bell? It should do because she is England’s current top goalscorer. Williams has scored 36 goals for her country, more than Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer two renown names in football who we consider legends for our country and she is not even a forward. Why is it that Williams is not publicised by the media similar to Wayne Rooney who is a global icon?
Women’s football is not promoted well enough by our institutions like the BBC. 17th June 2012, BBC Two broadcasted a Women’s Euro Qualifying match against Holland. BBC Two because the BBC prioritised Songs Of Praise which was on BBC One and of course they couldn’t replace that with a Women’s football match. England won 1-0 to take them second of their qualifying table. The match was played at Salford City Stadium with a capacity of 12,000, 1/7th of the capacity of Wembley’s 90,000 where the England men’s team play. The game didn’t even sell out of the 12,000 as the attendance was only a mere 5,505, which is less than League Two team Torquay United have on a weekly basis. This is the comparison to The Npower League Two team and an International team which is ludicrous. The public are influenced by the media and the media need to do more to promote women’s football. The lack of interest in women’s football comes down to the lack of knowledge and momentum surrounding the game.
Next year England’s Women will play in the UEFA European Championships. This year we saw the men’s Spanish team lift the title as the BBC and ITV not only showed every England game, but every single game of the tournament. Will we get to see the same footage from the Women’s tournament? Probably not. We will be fortunate to see a handful of England games. The BBC need to take this opportunity to get the public involved in Women’s football. If it is presented more regularly, the more interest will be taken in the sport which will help boost Women’s football as a whole.
Women’s football does not share the same opportunities as Men’s Football as the options at grass roots are very non existent. Women’s football do not receive the same amount of funding thrown into it as men’s so there is not the same support and opportunities for training. Most women footballers also have to require a day job alongside their footballing career. This answers a lot of questions as to why the performance of the man’s game is at such a higher level, given the extra efforts on the training pitch put in.
The Wimbledon championships has just finished which every year is broadcasted by the BBC. The women’s tennis is equally shown as the men’s in the tournament, so why can’t this be the case for football? Tennis shows no comparison between men and women in their abilities and are treated equally in the media and that is only one example where men and women are equal in sport. It is obvious that football is a male dominated environment, however that does not mean it can’t be breached.
Large media institutions like the BBC need to acknowledge their power and come to terms to educate the public in women’s football. The lack of interest in the women’s game is resulted by the lack of knowledge and availability. If the BBC take the opportunity to broadcast the women’s UEFA European Championships it will greatly help aid the future for women’s football.
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