Video Editor: Md Ibrahim, Vishal Kumar
Come World Cup season, it’s really hard to not get sucked up into all the madness that surrounds the quadrennial football extravaganza. A whopping 47.3 million Indians tuned in to watch the matches on the first two days of the FIFA 2018 World Cup. So much for being a ‘cricket-crazy’ country, eh?
Interestingly, trends released by Sony Pictures Network India show that women make up 47 percent of the 47.3 million Indians watching this World Cup in India.
So where are the women, then?
Why, just about everywhere!
If you can’t find them, its because you’re probably looking in the wrong places.
The FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia is the 21st edition of the men’s tournament, while the eighth edition of the Women’s World Cup is scheduled to be held in France in 2019. After all this time, football is still perceived to be a sport that is exclusive to cishet men. Don’t believe me? A simple online search of the words “female football fans” should pop that bubble for you.
Guwahati-based journalist Sanskrita Bharadwaj writes: “I avoid large male groups that discuss sports and completely disregard a woman's opinion”. As it turns out, the World Cup may come once every four years, but sexism is a year-round affair. The Quint caught up with a few fans during the WC 2018 screenings in Delhi-NCR. While some of the women admitted to having been subjected to sexist remarks over sport, others said their passion for football was often perceived as being disingenuous. Most of the women though, said they only wanted to enjoy the sport without being scrutinised.
As Germany (and Real Madrid) supporter Shruti put it: “If you like football, you like football. What does gender have to do with it?”
(Location courtesy: The Irish House, Yuzu, Social, Cafe Lungta/Cocktails and Dreams Speakeasy)