Women and Football
– FAIR PLAY FOR WOMEN’S FOOTBALL –
The Football Association (F. A.) has always been rather traditional in its administration of the game. In 1921 its members elected to ban women from playing football; they didn’t say women were not capable of playing football, just that they wouldn’t be allowed to play on proper fields with qualified officials in any organised way.
And once in force, that rule was rigidly applied for 49 years. What broke down the resistance of the F.A. to women’s football was the 1966 World Cup. Female teams began to appear everywhere and within three years established teams were playing football in structured leagues.
The Women’s Football Association (W.F.A.) was formed in 1969 with 51 clubs as members, and the F.A. revoked its infamous ban in 1970 in the face of strong W.F.A. representation. Other countries followed Britain’s example and in 1971 international football bodies F.I.F.A. and U.E.F.A. decided that their members must not only recognise the women’s game but take steps to see that it be properly controlled.
The first England international women’s team was picked in 1972 and won its first game (against Scotland) 3-2. The W.F.A. has now got a domestic membership of 200 clubs playing in 23 leagues.
Managers of men’s clubs often complain about foreign clubs buying their best players. Well, the same thing happens in women’s football. In Italy they play women’s football professionally and have bought many of the star players. Sallie Jackson of Fulham and Millwall’s Shauna Williams are two of the best players who have gone to play in Italy.
‘When a woman has no prospect of getting a job, and is offered the chance to do something she loves- and get paid for it – who can blame her?‘ commented league official Flo Bilton.
Nowadays, in some schools boys and girls can play football together in their school team. You may have seen recent stories about girls who are star players in their boys’ school team, but they cannot play in important official games because the F.A. won’t allow them to play. F.A. Secretary Ted Croker is coming under increasing pressure from girl players who are angry at being dropped.
At senior level women’s football differs from the men’s game in that 35 the emphasis is on skill rather than strength, on stylish play instead of aggression. Apart from that it is remarkably similar – with the same complaints about fouls, foul language on the field and foul fields.
A. What do the following refer to?
1. that rule’ (line 6):
2. ‘if (line 15):
3. ‘the same thing’ (line 21):
4. ‘if (line 26):
5. ‘if (line 36):
B. Mark the statements as True (T) or False (F).
1. The Football Association didn’t allow women to play football because they said women were not good enough.
2. The 1966 World Cup changed men’s attitudes to women in football.
3. Britain was the first country to have a women’s football association.
4. Some women choose to play abroad because they have no hope for finding jobs in England.
5. Girls cannot play football in boys’ school teams. 6. Men play football more aggressively than women.
1. What was the result of the first international match that the first English women’s team played?
2. When was The Women’s Football Association formed?
D. Mark the best choice. 1. Line 2, ‘ban’ means a) organise b) forbid c)let d) control
2. Lin© 11, ‘revoked’ means a) renewed b) cancelled c) established d) operated