Talent, Politics, Belief: The importance of women’s football

General close up view of a player kicking a football
DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - APRIL 12: A general view of soccer boots and ball during a UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship Qualifier between game Finland U19 Women and Germany U19 Women at Paul-Janes-Stadion on April 12, 2022 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Neil Baynes/Getty Images for DFB)

What is the importance of women’s football? Why care? The general media often argues over this issue with varying degrees of tension.

Why would fans of football choose to watch a sport that is, in many eyes, ‘inherently inferior’? Furthermore, why would clubs choose to invest and raise salaries in their women’s teams?

This article needs to start off with stating the obvious. Women are insane at football.

Untapped Talent

As women’s football continues to harbour investment, games are becoming faster, more tactical and more creative. Some of the best players in the world are, and will be, women.

Football fans who only watch the men’s game miss out on a plethora of ultra-talented players that don’t just break barriers, but transcend them.

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If you simply want to watch good football, women’s football is the place to be. Investing in the women’s game through increased amounts of research, better facilities, well-trained officials and more coverage is paramount to furthering its development.

To everyone who refuses to invest due to smaller revenue: Why do you not want more high quality football?

Politics and Sport

According to Nora Henriksson, the head of Sport and Managing Director at Media.Monks, women’s football has never been just about sport. Female footballers “role model” what it means to work hard and show talent in addition to advocating for global issues.

This can be a negative. Female footballers are, in fact, footballers and should be treated as such. However, the importance of the sporting world’s provision of visible and aware champions of advocacy cannot be understated.

Sport, particularly football, is immensely powerful. It connects people of different political and religious backgrounds, forcing otherwise separate groups of people to come together for a common cause.

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The darker side of this connection is the nationalistic fervour brought out in the most unlikely of people. Sport fuels world wars, dictatorships and corrupt government bodies. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge the connection between sport and politics is clearly ignoring the countless peer-reviewed research studies, books and essays on this topic.

Even without the controversy surrounding the Qatar World Cup, the Berlin Olympics of 1936, Argentina’s World Cup in 1978 and the recent Beijing Olympics in 2022 are each examples of how sport played a strong role in domestic and international affairs.

Changing the World

In women’s football, fans are 55 percent more likely to care about social and political issues. This extends to caring about sustainability of the product they consume. To cater to the fastest growing sport in the world, clubs need to care too. The diverse fanbase and player pool in women’s football showcases the importance of acceptance and willingness to understand cultural differences.

The future of the world rests on people who care about one another and the world in which we live.

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Of course, the diversity of the game can always improve. This is a continued battle within football, especially in places like the United States where there is a high expense to play for travel teams (the equivalent to youth club football). Football needs to be accessible to children of all backgrounds.

Football is the beautiful game, the world’s pastime. Women’s football fans, and by extension, the clubs and players they follow can change the world by promoting and aiding in global issues.

Seeing is Believing

To finish, it is important to state the importance of sport on an individual level.

Throughout the 20th century, countries in the process of industrialization encouraged children, including girls, to partake in physical activity. At that time, the thought was that healthy women would result in a healthier and happier population.

Obviously, times have changed. However, the importance of sport in daily life remains the same. Sport provides children with the outlet to express themselves and interact socially with peers. Physical activity has proved time and time again to have a positive impact on mental health. This is a topic that has been widely covered following the rise of social media and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women’s football provides a space for people who want to express themselves and be a part of a global community. Everyone who wants to play a sport deserve to with confidence and someone to look up to.

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