...but that didn't stop Jacqui Oatley.
In 2007, Oatley became the first female presenter of BBC's Match Of The Day. After years of hard work, defying the odds, Oatley proved herself amongst her peers. Rising up from the ranks of reporting for local radio, to national tv coverage on a regular basis.
Oatley has stated many times that she has no issue with sexism: “It’s just prejudice, and if people are prejudiced, then good luck to them. That won’t bother me.” A lot of people criticised her credentials, assuming she was more bothered about watching the men in shorts and admiring their muscles.
She reckons that it's not necessarily an issue with the lack of women being given the chance to report on football, but more so, the lack of supply. “I also always have the impression that any woman reporting on sport has to prove themselves worthy enough to be doing so and people always seem so much more critical of their reporting. Men don’t have to prove they know their sport inside and out, it’s just assumed they do.”
Football is a male-dominated sport, players/coaches/reporters/managers boards, all predominantly male. So for a young woman growing up wanting to become a sports journalist or reporter, there's not many role models for them to look upto. Some maybe don't want the hassle of being associated with the game and constantly having to 'prove' themselves. Netherless, times are changing (albeit slowly), and more and more females are getting involved in the game. See http://www.kickitout.org/1272.php for more stories and information on kicking sexism out of football.