They have ended Arsenal's dominance in England with a 2-0 win over Bristol Academy in the final game of the successful FAWSL 2013. Well done to them and to The FA for an entertaining summer of live games.
BBC Scotland radio host, Tam Cowan, was dropped from his "Off the ball" slot after his recent newspaper column caused controversy. The comments he made followed Scotland women's 7-0 win over Bosnia Herzegovina at Fir Park, last week. The article began with: "If I had my way, today's Premiership fixture between Motherwell and Ross County would have been cancelled. That's because Fir Park should have been torched on Thursday in order to cleanse the stadium after it played host to women's football. Why do they still persevere with this turgid spectacle? And why was it allowed anywhere near Motherwell's hallowed turf?" He further added:"Admittedly, I've not seen a lot of women's football…and I'm not having a pop at the people taking part. Just the other week, I bumped into a couple of women footballers (I've still got the bruises to prove it) and they were honestly two of the nicest blokes I've ever met…
…Face it, folks, nobody cares about women's football. There was barely a thousand inside the ground, shocking for an international in ANY sport, and I guess putting the girlies head-to-head with Emmerdale and Eastenders was a bit daft."
Cowan, who writes the bi-weekly column, is regarded somewhat as a funnyman. The Daily record (the newspaper he works for), even went so far as to back him up and stated that his article should be "taken with a pinch of salt". Many people have since spoken out in support of Cowan, saying that he has the right to freedom of speech. Yes we all have that right, but to do it in this manner is tasteless and reminds us all that we still have a long way to go in the battle of sexism on and off the pitch.
It's disheartening for the players who have won their first two games in their 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign, to have their win tarnished by this 1970's-style misogynistic article, full of crude jokes and degrading comments. It is not apparent yet how long the BBC have dropped Cowan for, due to his column not being linked with their company, it causes complications. However, hopefully this story doesn't go unnoticed and the correct action is taken, not only for the BBC's reputation, but for the sake of game's future development.
...as the BBC take on a new voice for the football classified results, Charlotte Green.
Green becomes the first woman ever appointed to the role of BBC's Radio 5 live announcer and she embraces the challenge ahead: “It shouldn’t matter what gender you are, what matters is that you do a good, professional job and that’s something I aim to do. I will be nervous – it’s inevitable when you’re doing something different and new but also because the football results have this iconic place in radio history." The classifieds were made famous by James Alexander Gordon, who sadly retired in July after nearly 40 years, undergoing throat surgery from being diagnosed with cancer. Green has been a radio presenter for over 30 years, she was once voted the most attractive female voice on national radio and reading the football results has been a dream of hers since she was a child Growing up an avid Tottenham fan, she joins the ranks of presenters Gabby Logan and Jacqui Oatley as football enthusiasts, making a name for themselves in the male dominated sport.
The CSI of Belluno and Feltre has changed its rules agreeing that men and women can play together on the same team. The FIGC will investigate extending the 'revolution' at national level. Avanzo, who previously played for women's side Dynamo Vellai, made her debut on 22nd September 2013 in the CIS men's tournament for Stella Azzura(Blue Star) in Italy. Her reason for doing so, was not to make some huge statement in the fight for equality and get global recognition, Francesca quotes: "I thought that to be part of the team would have been a way to fully embrace the philosophy and the message of solidarity carried out by the Community. At the bottom of the purpose of sports should be to have fun, and do not understand why males and females can not do that by playing together."
President of CSI of Belluno Dario Dal Magro personally made the trip to watch Avanzo's debut in front of a small crowd of 30 at Cesiomaggiore. Avanzo started the game as striker with the highly important number 9 shirt on and helped her team to a 2-1 away victory, only coming off as a substitute minutes before the end. Many were surprised of her decision to leave Dynamo Vellai after 13 years being one of their main goalscorers, but not Blue Star coach-Aldo Bertelle: "This beginning of Francesca with our team to a history of the integration of people with disabilities, children with mental retardation, people from different cultures.All because the differences are a core value for us, but also for the society in which we live.Five years ago I never thought that a girl would play with us, but now we are happy that this happened.However, today was written an important page in our community. "
Francesca's story is currently small news in the football world, almost going unnoticed. The English FA recently changed it's ruling on mixed sex football (previously under-12's only), to under-14's level. For a governing body that constantly reminds us of new initiatives to get women and girls involved in football, to stamp out discrimination and to promote equality, it still seems so blinded. As with most other sports, women are deemed "weaker/slower" than our male counterparts, resulting in any mixed sport being regarded as "unfair".
We need more stories like Francesca's to be heard, rules need to be changed and people's perspectives need to change. That's the only way sports can progress and become truly "equal".
The company carelessly released an advert to promote the Women's Euro 2013 tournament this year. Instead of focusing on their national side being one of the hot favourites for the competition, they focused on producing what they called a "tongue in cheek" commercial. Germany are the only country to have won the men and women's World Cup, and the women's side are one of the most successful teams in history. So for an advert to portray a woman sitting delicately on top of a household applicance in a crisp, clean uniform, rather than show her on a football field, displaying her skills, it's rather degrading. I can't imagine if it was an advert for the men's national side, that it'd be so offensive. Quit with the gender stereotypes already, women can play football, get over it! See the full video here: http://t.co/vNEeZSBoea
"I don't think I said there was swearing as such, but he did definitely call me a disgrace," Hickson told Sportsmail. There were a few parents saying things like 'silly little b****', 't***' and things like that.
"At the end of the day, it is a kids football match. They just want to play football, I just want to ref and it shouldn't be taken that seriously. Hopefully, this will raise awareness of how much referee needs respect because people under-estimate how hard it is to be a referee until they actually take it up."