The FIFA Women’s World Cup will commence on 7 June, 2019. The tournament will be played in France across nine cities, with Parc Olympique Lyonnis hosting the final of the tournament on 7 July, 2019.
Held every four years, the World Cup is the most sought after trophy in Football, club and country alike. With the biggest names set to take the field, Ada Hegerberg, arguably the greatest player in the world, will not be putting on the jersey for her country.
The Norwegian forward is said to be boycotting the World Cup and has pulled out of the Norway team to protest against the disparity that exists between the men’s football and how women are treated in the sport.
Hegerberg was the first women to win the coveted Ballon d'Or, awarded to the best player in the game, last year. However, it was at the ceremony where she was, on stage while receiving her award, asked to twerk on stage by a French DJ. The incident drew flak from the footballing community.
‘Lack of respect’
Hegerberg has said that even though the game has evolved leaps and bounds, the ‘lack of respect’ shown towards the women’s game is a key area of concern.
The 23-year-old forward has also spoken about the inequality in the income between male and female players.
UEFA’s director of women’s football, Nadine Kessler has supported her by saying, “I think Ada’s decision needs to be respected. It’s a brave decision to consciously miss a World Cup.”
There have been similar incidents of protest by players in other national associations as well. The Danish women’s team had boycotted a World Cup qualifying match against Sweden to protest against inequality in the game.
German Football Team Fights Sexism
Hoping to put up a good showing at the World Cup, the German team will be competing to win the trophy. However, they have been making the headlines for an inspiring team video that they released which attacks sexism, stereotypes and prejudices.
The video talks about how their own country does not know much about the women’s game and there is a lack of respect shown to them. One of the most startling information given to the viewer is about how the German women’s team was gifted a tea set upon winning their first World Cup title.
While FIFA and other continental federations have worked towards a more equal game, there is still much that needs to be worked upon. Income gap is just one of the many issues that football faces. It is the problem of equal opportunity that leaves much to be desired.