It seems like a work of fiction saying that today, in 2018, male chauvinism is still a thing in the world, and even in our beloved sport. Yes, football had been a mostly male-dominated sport, but little by little, female football has started to grow on the hearts of new and old fans alike.
But, this doesn’t mean everything’s the way is supposed to be, here and there, cases of male chauvinism are surfacing against, not only players, but female referees and coaches, regardless of the well-known respect players have to show to referees.
Not so long ago, Emiliano Doglioli verbally assaulted female referee Agustina Faundez. After a short exchange of words, at the end of the match, said player told the female referee to “go and wash the dishes” and using hand gestures to mimic said action, this action was punished with 10 matches on the bench for Doglioli. His brother, the team’s coach, on the other hand, verbally assaulted the main referee, calling him names during the assault on the female referee, and threatening the male referee to kill him on sight if the two of them ran into each other. Even though the referee punished him with 15 matches on the bench and a warrant was placed on the police, this should never have happened.
There aren’t female football players on first division who are also mothers. Why is that, do you ask? Well, Spain’s clubs have some sort of “anti-pregnancy” clauses on their contracts. Meaning that any female player who gets pregnant has to go off the team. No comebacks, no trials after a pregnancy leave. Nothing. If a female player gets pregnant, she’s fired and no compensation is given. Female-supporter lawyers are working day and night to try to fix this, but to no avail. This problem goes well beyond football.
However, clubs are well aware that this kind of clauses are illegal and they might get some legal consequences if authorities found out, this is why those “anti-pregnancy” clauses are passed on verbally, never written, making it difficult to prove. Teams tend to compare pregnancy with doping, some experts say that these clauses are given to women because they are not considered professional players, but amateurs, not only turning said clause into a discriminatory one but also diminishing women participation in football.
England Showing How’s it Done
In our country, the situation differs greatly from Spain’s. The female team from Ajax, playing on the Dutch league, needless to say, one of the toughest leagues, has renewed Chantal de Ridder’s contract while being on an advanced stage of pregnancy. In fact, not too long ago, the player had her child and after a short period of well-earned rest, she’ll come back to the field to continue her work.
Beyond the salary breach between male and female players, you have to add up things like these, being yelled (sexist things) at, or being plain insulted, having these off-record agreements where you can’t be a mother, unless you want to be laid off. We can only hope the rest of the world starts following England’s example into a more fair, inclusive sport.