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With the euphoria of men’s football world cup drawing to a close, there has been little discussion on ‘womens’ football’ . Sports like cricket, football or hockey are primarily dominated by men. The tournaments and world cup matches played by men are sponsored, telecast and viewed regularly while women playing these sports are rarely telecast due to less viewing and sponsors reluctant to participate.

Bias

In an article, Bachu S (We hate football and Don’t follow FIFA world Cup,said no woman ever, published 15 July 2018, newindianexpress.com) points out , ” …blatant indifference and sexist attitude towards women’s love for the game has gained momentum even as an audience measurer by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) says that women make up nearly half of the 100 million World Cup 2018 viewers across India. “She cites the feelings of Krupa N. Sangma, a AIFF accredited football referee and a former player who says that it is the mindset of a majority of men, that they know better about the game than women, which is the root cause of such ostracisation . She also says that men think that they know all about the game. They like to talk about it but do not listen to what women have to say. They think that world cup and foreign leagues are something beyond women’s comprehension and understanding.

Obstacles

Girls and women who wish to pursue the sport face hindrances from their families. As Krupa feels, women’s football is not supported by the All Indian Football Federation. The body has to spend a lot more on them considering the fact that many female players are fighting objections at home to presume career as a professional footballer. Very few people know players like Bela Devi or Bembem Devi or there is a top tier league in the country.

Awareness and integration

Society should encourage women footballer and their pursuance of the sport. They must be given time to practice and use the same football field used by men. They should be cheered by all just like men. Integration, not segregation should be the solution of the society.

World cup

‘Captains of today, leaders of tomorrow ‘ was the title of a two day workshop held in Moscow for the captains of U-20 teams qualified for FIFA women’s World Cup to be held in France this August. ( fifa.com ,28 Jun 2018). ” One of the challenges in women’s football is the lack of role models for young girls ” ,said FIFA Chief wojen’s Football Officer Sarai Baremen.

Indian women football team must be given full facilities to perform well. Unfortunately, both men and women football teams have not been cleared for Jakarta Asian games. If the men’ s football team is in a pathetic state, one can imagine the plight of women’s football.
A lot of effort is required yo lift women’ s football in India. Social acceptance, provision of facilities, decent payment on par with male players and promotion on media etc go a long way in encouraging women pursuing football as a career in sports

The writer is from anywhere and every where. Inspired by people’s poets like Gadar in Telugu, Premchand in Hindi and french stalwart Sartre , the writer feels that there is lot more to be learned. Writers like Mahasweta Devi also guide the writers in formulating ideas that are people oriented

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