Balls

5 Jul

It’s the week of balzy women. Former French Minister of Finance Christine Lagarde taking over from Dominique-it-wasn’t-me-Strauss Kahn at the IMF, against whome French author Tristane Banone finally decided to press rape charges. Go ladies!

Speaking about balzy women: did you know the Worldcup Women’s Football is being played as we speak? In Berlin, where I was attending the Humanity in Action annual conference and giving a workshop on diversity and inclusion with Jamila Aanzi, there was no escaping it.

“Heute abend Frauenfußball live!”. In Berlin most bars have big screens, showing the World Cup live and direct. Ads on busses, billboards, not to mention the sticker book with female players launched by Panini, which proved to be a huge success.

How different are things in Holland. Both media and market are turning a blind eye to women’s football. World Cup? Whatever. No, we’d rather watch Wimbledon or the Tour de France. Women’s football is “not commercially interesting.” For the same reason, the Dutch women’s league was even under pressure. Willem II and AZ, whose ladies won the championship three times in a row, said they no longer had the budget to support professional women’s football, which costs a team about 200 K per year. Much too expensive, said AZ director Toon Gerbrands.

Two years ago, the semi-final of the European Women’s Championship in Finland drew 1,6 million viewers (out of which 63% were men). It was the first time that a European women’s football match was broadcast live on Dutch public television. Women’s football not commercial? It’s a classic case of chicken and egg, if you ask me. Without media coverage, no sponsors, without sponsors, no income.

Speaking about income: women make considerably less than their male colleagues. The world of professional football is no exception. Brasilian football queen Marta signed a 3-year contract with Los Angeles Sol for over a million euro, and is the world’s best paid female soccer player. But her salary is peanuts compared to the astromical amounts Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Wesley Sneijder are being paid each year.

It’s clear: it’s still a man’s world. But like good old Johan Cruijff once said: you only see it when you get it. Long live balzy women!

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One Response to “Balls”

  1. Maha Seadaway August 11, 2011 at 4:30 am #

    well ,we realy need big advertisment to women and power being visiable

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