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The reality of women’s football in Spain

History tells us how the game of football was born and evolved in the most prestigious universities in the south of EnglandHistory tells us how the


History tells us how the game of football was born and evolved in the most prestigious universities in the south of England

History tells us how the game of football was born and evolved in the most prestigious universities in the south of England and
it was a rich man’s game until the working class took it over to make it the most popular sport in the world and spread it around the entire planet.

On October 26, 1863, the Football Association was founded in a London tavern (“Freemasons Tavern”) as a group of eleven London clubs and schools, determining the first rules for the so-called football-association,
thus separating from football-rugby and other modalities where it was allowed to play the ball with the hands. And on July 20, 1885, the FA legalized professionalism in football.

In 1926 the professionalism of football in was legalized, remaining as a game for men and a true reflection of the society of the time; sport that progressively became a spectacle until the
“top of the pyramid” became a big business, from which many actors “live” (players, coaches, managers, representatives, companies,…) The football industry, which accounts for 1.37% of GDP, almost 16,000 million euros per year, and employs hundreds of thousands of people. Currently, investment funds and shareholders from various sectors come to become owners of historic clubs that were born with other intentions.

Let us remember that in our country the National Professional Football League, also known by the acronym LFP, was not created until 1984. Well, on September 5, 2022 -almost a century after the birth of professional - the Professional Women’s Soccer League (LPFF) was presented to society, with that aura of sensitivity that surrounds everything that concerns women in our days.

The evolution that we have experienced in women’s football in recent years has been “incredible” and “spectacular”, as has been seen with the impact of the European Championship held this year in England, whose team defeated Germany in the final, the World Cup under-20 in Costa Rica won by Spain against Japan or with the Champions League where Olympique de Lyon beat FC Barcelona, ​​which
“investments catapulted”.

But let’s be realistic, to get even closer to the desired equality with respect to men’s football, more things are needed: practitioners, fans, visibility, commercial return on investment, … And time.

In 1999 (23 years ago) we celebrated the first world conquest of Spanish football. The men’s U20 led by Iñaki Sáez, managed to win the title in Nigeria by defeating Japan in the final and laying the foundations for the golden age of football in our country, which would later be endorsed with
the achievements of our Absolute selection between the years 2008 and 2012. These successes were based on a base work of many practitioners for a long time.

In
Spain we have a million player licenses (men) registered for men’s football in all categories, while the number of players (females) is close to 70,000.
It only accounts for 7% of the total practitioneryes That is why we must emphasize the importance that must be given to football in schools and colleges to attract more women to sport, so that girls choose to play football and the “base of the pyramid” is expanded; that the training and qualification of coaches be encouraged, the presence of women in management positions, boards of directors, federations.

Avoid the convulsive situations experienced in recent timessuch as the confrontations between sports administrations for the leadership of women’s football that lead nowhere, the pressure from players to change coaches in clubs and national teams, referee strikes as measures of strength and/or visibility, would also be desirable.

Facing the gallery, most of the political groups, institutions and the media fill their mouths with requests for equality, but we must recognize that we walk with a heavy historical and cultural ballast.
Until we manage to at least equalize the number of practitioners (the base), women’s football will continue to follow the men’sand we hope that the defects observed and suffered for decades will not be consolidated.

And one last piece of information to remember the long road towards equality that -even today- there is between women’s and men’s football. About the prize money between the FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cups.
The team that wins the women’s World Cup in 2023 will earn 60 million dollars compared to 440 for the men’s team that wins the World Cup in 2022.