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- 21 May 2015 00:00
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Equality In Women’s Football
In an interview with BBC Global News, FIFA boss Sepp Blatter said women's football is "limping behind" the men's game in both profile and sponsorship. He also highlighted the following as the key issues:
•women's football is not yet played "the way he would like it to be played", citing a lack of organised leagues in some countries
•female access to football stadia remains a "problem" in parts of the world, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, because of cultural issues
•he wants to change the Fifa statutes to make it easier for women to occupy positions of power around the globe
Karen Espelund, the only female member of Uefa's executive committee, told the BBC that women can add value to football and football's appeal.
The Women in Sport Organisation say Sepp Blatter’s comments provide a welcome platform for affirming the work that needs to be done if equality in women’s football is to be achieved, both on and off the pitch.
"Women in Sport is pleased to see that considerations for greater levels of investment, coverage, infrastructure, leadership and participation for and by women are all being addressed at football’s most senior levels. Words can only take progress so far, however, and we hope to see these backed by affirmative action to build a stronger universe for women’s football.”
"These issues are consistent to the sport sector as a whole and we hope that other sports will take steps to prioritise equality for women and girls. The gap between the number of men and women playing sport, the lack of women in sport’s workforce, leading to low levels of representation among women at sport’s decision making levels, and the relatively low levels of commercial investment and media coverage enjoyed by women’s sport are all issues which have a serious impact on women – both elite athletes and those for whom sport is, or could be, a part of their everyday lives.
"We are proud to campaign on behalf of women and girls in advancing gender equality in sport and are encouraged that issues of inequality are being taken seriously at sport’s highest levels. Now is the time to take action and create a better future for women’s sport.”