Many of us associate football with players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Harry Kane, and Gareth Bale, both on and off the field. What’s more, do you notice anything unusual about this picture? They are all male athletes, but some of the most well-known women’s football players are now joining them!
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Megan Rapinoe and Marta have become household names during the recent world cup thanks to their outstanding performances. Sadly, things have changed dramatically in the last few years when it comes to women’s sports, particularly in football. The excitement surrounding the Women’s World Cup is only adding to this.
Female Athletes in the Media
What is the reason for the sudden shift in events? First, more women’s sporting events must be covered. This has resulted in a rise in the visibility of female athletes in the media and a rise in the marketing of female-oriented sports events. As a result, these sports will receive additional funding. The Women’s World Cup is one tournament that is making progress in all three of these categories. That football is a boy’s sport has long been out of date, and this is great news. It’s 2022, and everyone should be able to enjoy sports. With many young girls still believing that they can’t play football like the boys, promoting women’s sporting events is essential for showing them that they can enjoy and succeed in the sport as well.
Breaking down gender stereotypes and fostering greater equality is an excellent first step. The advantages to one’s physical and mental health that come from participating in sports cannot be overstated, especially for young women. Inspire sport explains why attitudes toward women’s football, the Women’s World Cup, and women’s sport as a whole have changed in the following sections: To that end, we’ll examine how and why this is so critical in inspiring the next generation of female athletes.
What’s been Happening in Women’s Football?
As a result, women’s sport has long been overshadowed by men’s, and football has long been viewed as a game for the boys. Unfortunately, a lack of media attention for women’s football hasn’t helped, either, thanks to increased coverage and attention for men’s football and its top players.
Contrary to popular belief, women were just as likely as men to take up the sport of football as a pastime during World War One. In fact, the Dick, Kerr Ladies became England’s unofficial team during this time period due to this fact. However, in 1921, the FA (Football Association) prohibited member clubs from allowing women’s teams to play on their grounds due to fears that the women’s game would diminish the popularity of men’s football. The embargo was only lifted in 1969, after less than 50 years of being in place. Compared to the rest of the world, this is a relatively recent event.
Football for Men and Women is Equal
There is still a long way to go before football for men and women is equal, even in 2019. Male-dominated sports continue to dominate media attention, and male athletes continue to be compensated more. Fortunately, attitudes toward the female version of the game are beginning to change. Over the past few years, interest in women’s football has grown significantly, according to a recent survey from Opinion. Many men say they’ve grown more appreciative of female sports and are more likely to watch them because of recent coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and other female sporting events.
Interest in the FIFA Women’s World Cup rose significantly in 2019. This year’s tournament had a record-breaking 28.1 million viewers, and 11.7 million people watched the semi-final match between England and the United States. As of now, this is the most-watched TV show of 2019. Against the Netherlands in the Euro 2017 semi-final, England had a record-breaking 4 million viewers in the UK.
How the Women’s World Cup of Football is influencing the World
With the Women’s Football World Cup taking place this year, it’s clear that women’s football (and female sports in general) are gaining popularity and attention. Women’s football has been viewed in a more positive light since the tournament, and this will encourage more girls to participate in the sport. The coverage of female sports has increased.
The lack of coverage and media attention given to women’s sports has been a problem for many years. When it comes to sports broadcasts in Los Angeles, only 3.2 per cent of the time is dedicated to women’s sports, according to “It’s Dude Time,” a study conducted in 2015. Until 2018, the WNBA championship games were primarily broadcast on ESPN2 (Women’s National Basketball Association). There was a significant drop in viewership as a result of this.
The Women’s Sports Network
According to The Women’s Sports Network, only 21% of the 34 articles published about the 2018 Paralympic Games focused on female athletes, while 35% focused on both male and female athletes. They looked at coverage on ESPN, NBC Olympics, the New York Times, and USA Today, four of the most popular US news websites. Despite the fact that demand for women’s sports is increasing, coverage is still lower than it should be. For example, the 2018 Olympic women’s hockey gold medal game between Team USA and Team Canada generated the best-ever late-night rating for NBCSN.
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As the Women’s Sports Network points out in their examination of women’s sports media coverage. As previously mentioned, over 11 million people tune-up to watch the Women’s Football World Cup 2019 semi-final match. In addition to the BBC, other media outlets covered the tournament extensively. A larger audience will be attracted to women’s sports as the media makes them more widely available. This can be seen in the number of viewers and the Opinium study. Inspiring young girls to pursue sports as a career is also critical.
The Promotion of Women’s Sporting Events
Whether on a billboard or in a television commercial, advertising can have a significant impact. Advertisements can influence our feelings and emotions long after we’ve seen them, even if we’re not aware of it. Since women’s sports have been marketed more, attitudes toward them have changed. This year’s World Cup is an excellent example of how the marketing of female sporting events is evolving.
Lucozade Sport, Head & Shoulders, and Visa are just a few of the major sponsors who put money into the women’s tournament. Visa became the first European sponsor of women’s football when they announced a seven-year partnership with UEFA in December 2018. They also announced that they would spend as much money marketing the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup as they did the 2018 event.
Coverage of Women’s Sports:
Another broadcaster, the BBC, is increasing its coverage of women’s sports. The BBC’s Change the Game campaign aims to make Summer 2019 the most popular time for women’s sport in the UK. Netball, football, tennis, and the cricket world cups are among the events they plan to broadcast live in their entirety. Podcasts and radio coverage will also be a part of their coverage of these events.
Morocco’s story is truly an inspiring one. Read how the belief of their King, Mohammed VI and Football Federation President, Fouzi Lekjaa in Women’s football propelled them to their first World Cup…the genesis of it all amazed me when I wrote about ithttps://t.co/KVpzpXut5S pic.twitter.com/YekhpyG1DC
— Enarya (@iamowusuaa) July 15, 2022
In order to inspire a new generation of female athletes, why is this so important? It doesn’t matter whether it’s a television show they’ve seen or a billboard they’ve passed by and photographed. Instead, they’re likely discussing these topics on social media; in 2017, there were 2.46 billion social network users around the world, and this number is expected to keep rising. The more young people see their peers interested in women’s sports.
Increasing Visibility for Female Football Athletes
Female athletes now have a voice thanks to increased media coverage and social media use. Young people are increasingly turning to social media for role models and inspiration. This is giving young women an abundance of new role models to look up to. Megan Rapinoe, an American football player, is an example of a social media savvy athlete. She has spoken out about racism, kneeling during the national anthem during a National Women’s Soccer League match. In 2019, she caused a stir when she told a reporter she wouldn’t go to the White House if the US won the World Cup (which they actually went on to do).
By teaching students of all genders about inspiring female athletes and encouraging them to play sports together (in mixed-gender teams). And incorporating these sports into their teaching, physical education teachers can help inspire students of all genders. This promotes exclusivity and removes barriers to encourage girls to participate in traditionally male-dominated sports. As you can see, public perceptions of women’s sports, including football, are evolving in a positive direction. Even so, equal game coverage and pay for men and women players is still a long way off.