Does football have a chance to turn from a brutal male spectacle into a glamorous sport like Roland Garros or Ascot racing? The 2018 World Cup can change stereotypes, Kommersant Style is convinced.
If before the start of the mundial in Moscow, most representatives of the weaker sex perceived football as a game where “22 men run after one ball”, now the situation has changed. More and more girls accompany their companions to the stands, fill up sports bars and walk around the fan zones of stadiums, waving colorful flags. Is this a tribute to fashion or a natural increase in interest in one of the most spectacular sports?
Photo: GirlPower Press Office
It is believed that the presence of fans in the stands reduces the degree of aggression. “When they understood this in England, they began to create comfortable conditions in stadiums. For example, they removed standing places, made more comfortable benches, food areas. All this led to the fact that women with great pleasure began to go to matches, ”says Anette Orlova, head of the New Horizon psychology center. The love of football can even overcome the laws of Sharia. After Suleiman Kerimov bought the Anji football club and brought star players there, a Muslim women's fan association appeared in Dagestan.
Who said that football is a purely masculine sport? The co-founder of the GirlPower women's football school, Vladimir Dolgiy-Rapoport, believes that such a statement is in the hands of the men who once, almost 100 years ago, first gave away, and then took the palm from the women in this sport. The ball game is one of the oldest, but the first attempts to unify the rules were made in England in 1846. In 1894, the first British Ladies women's football club appeared, organized by Nelly Hudson, an activist for women's equal rights. With the outbreak of World War I, when almost all men went to the front, British women went to work. And the ladies preferred to relax after a hard day's work on the football field, chasing the ball. So almost 100 years ago, numerous women's football teams appeared in England, the most popular of which was Dick, Kerr`s Ladies.
Photo: GirlPower Press Office
Returning from the front, men found that women's football was in demand, and stadiums were gathering games. It was urgent to do something. So, since 1921 in England, and beyond it and throughout Europe, women's football has been banned for half a century.
One but fiery passion
Perhaps these years of oblivion, or perhaps the excessive fervor and aggressiveness of football fans have influenced the fact that the girls have stopped not only playing football, but also watching it? But no sport causes so many emotions and emotions. “To understand why I love football, you need to go at least one game, and it’s better to go to a match of titled European clubs. Being at the stadium, it is impossible to remain indifferent, especially if everyone around is rooting for your team.
Photo: GirlPower Press Office
Maybe this is strange, but nothing in my life gives me such pleasure as football, ”says football fan Galina Kryuchkova, editor of one of Moscow lifestyle magazines.“ Once I arrived in Barcelona for the return match Barcelona - Paris Saint- Germain ", where" Barca "had to play four goals. The whole match in the stands, something unimaginable was going on. The numbers on the scoreboard made people scream with delight, then sob into the voice.
Football is the most exciting game in the world, which is played by almost 2 billion people, and almost all of them are men. “But this is not because women do not want, but because no one has offered them. When we opened GirlPower school four years ago, 12 girls came to classes. Now there are 40-50 girls in groups, the main age of which is 25-30 years. There is a category of 18–20, and the most adult is 52 years old, ”says Vladimir Dolgiy-Rapoport. Everyone is welcome to school, but they can be expelled only for unsportsmanlike behavior. Swearing, fights, excessive aggression towards rivals are prohibited. Yes, football is a contact sport, but this does not mean that you need to specifically go to conflict. There are girls who like to go to joints, do tackles. Others play very carefully. But in men's football, all players are different. For example, the Özil from Arsenal never gets into a fight, but he has incredible passes.
Photo: GirlPower Press Office
Psychological unloading is an important reason why women watch or play football. No matter where you are - in the stands or on the field - this game is able to completely capture the attention. “Playing football is an opportunity for a girl, at least an hour and a half a day, not to think about how she looks from the outside, but to be herself, give free rein to her feelings and throw out negative emotions,” Vladimir says. “From a player’s point of view, football is a certain way of meditation. During the day, a bunch of problems pile on you, household and workers. And when I come to the field and take the ball, I forget about everything. This is complete liberation and immersion in another reality. I tried real meditation too - it’s difficult: you have to force yourself to concentrate. And on the field, everything happens by itself, ”says Maria Isaeva, producer of the official portal for fans of the 2018 World Cup, a girl player at GirlPower School.
Why do women come to be sick?
“When a woman faces the male world, she develops several strategies for behavior. This desire to merge with this world, as well as the desire to communicate with the opposite sex. In the case of the World Cup, this is primarily a manifestation of patriotism (because we are the home team), as well as the opportunity to feel part of a strong group. And, of course, a tribute to fashion, because the championship is a well-established show.
Photo: GirlPower Press Office
In general, team sports excite the most primitive instincts in us. This is similar to how in ancient times, people fought in groups for some kind of resource. Men were ready to risk themselves and even die in order to fill up the mammoth for their tribe. Therefore, the stronger sex loves to participate in group sports so much, and the weak sex - to watch how men are fighting for prey, ”Anette Orlova explains.
Choosing for yourself which is better - to root for the team or play in it, remember that football is also a good training for those who find boring fitness a routine. “Of course, the main burden is on its feet: calves, hips, buttocks, and abs are pumped.
Photo: GirlPower Press Office
Endurance increases, because the whole workout you run jerkily, with acceleration. Hands are involved less, but this is not the main thing. But on the field you are experiencing such a drive that not a single workout in the gym will give, ”said Maria Isaeva.
Russian football players complain about discrimination. They are oppressed by men and power
In Russian society, there is still an opinion that football is a purely male occupation. The girl on the field seems unnatural to most Russians. Compared to Europe, where women's football has long become a special culture, in our country this sport is poorly developed, and all attempts to break the stereotypes around it are so far unsuccessful. Lenta.ru delved into the problems of domestic women's football and figured out why it is so unpopular and what needs to be done to make things change.
"We are considered the second grade only because we are women"
There have not been similar precedents in the Russian sport, although the situation of football players in our country is hardly noticeably better than in Latin America. Needless to say, women's football in Russia is not the most popular thing. In fairness, the women's team types are, in principle, “untwisted” worse than the male ones: well, who will immediately name the champion of the women's hockey league last season? (This, incidentally, is the Ufa "Agidel" - approx. "Tapes.ru".) Women's basketball and volleyball are developing a bit more vigorously, but they still lag significantly behind men's.
Many will be surprised, but the Russian women's football championship is a tournament with almost thirty years of history. The first time it took place in 1992: 15 teams were participants, and Interros from Moscow became the winner. At the same time, out of 30 matches (the tournament was held in two circles: the teams met at home and away) 17 absenteeism, that is, technical defeats, were recorded. The explanation is simple: most clubs did not have the opportunity to pay for relocation.
To date, eight clubs are represented in the Premier League: the capital's Lokomotiv, CSKA and Chertanovo, Izhevsk Torpedo, Krasnoyarsk Yenisei, Perm Zvezda-2005, Krasnodar Kubanochka and Ryazan-VDV. The championship consists of 14 rounds and lasts from April to August. Holders of gold and silver annually receive tickets to the Champions League, which is held, like the men's one, under the auspices of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Unfortunately, the tournament with such a big name for the Russians is usually so quiet that you need to work hard to find the broadcast matches.
Amazingly, Russian women's clubs in the Champions League are more successful than men's ones, and one of them, Zvezda 2005, once even reached the final. In 2009, the Perm team lost to the German Duisburg-2001. This time, the decisive match of the Women's Champions League is scheduled for May 18. In Budapest, the French “Lyon” and the Catalan “Barcelona” will argue for the trophy.
Women's football - it's impossible to watch it!
Masha Isaeva: Of course, really - if they showed it. Everyone says that women's football is not watchable, but women's football is not broadcast - how do they know? You have not even seen our matches.
I watched last year's Euro, and it was more interesting there than at the Premier League matches. Women burn due to the fact that around them there is no global interest and huge amounts of money; they play for the love of football. In men's football, I was first enraged by Cristiano's dives, and then I realized that there were such rules. If you fell and grabbed - a chance for a dangerous moment. In women's football there are no such rules, which is why it is beautiful.
If you don’t like women's football so much, you don’t need to torture yourself. I can’t watch the Premier League either and don’t watch it.
Nina Nazarova: We had a situation - the coach explained something on the theory, showed an excerpt from women's football: “It only happens in women's”. We rebelled: “Wow!” But it was a nice joke, in fact, women's football is not terrible.
Anya Mironova: By entertainment - no worse than men. Recently I watched the qualifiers for the women's World Cup 2019 and again saw how technical they are, motivated by the result and victory. While men fall a lot and focus on minor fouls, women play out to the end. I really like that they are not distracted by a showdown with the judges. Women's football is a pure game, pure emotions.
Sonya Romanova: Was at the match Chertanovo - Kubanochka. Not so many people attend women's matches. So before you judge, it’s better to go to the stadium. Girls run faster than conventional boys from unprofessional football, more sharp, powerful and agile. Finally, women's football is beautiful.
Are girls stereotyped about women's football?
Anya Mironova: Subscribed to many football groups, where they write that Cristiano again pretended to be like in women's football. This infuriates me - we don’t even have that close. England goalkeeper played with a broken leg for 14 minutes, until she realized that it was an injury.
Nina Nazarova: When women’s football is portrayed in memes or commercials: loose hair, small shorts, caricatures.
Nastya Kobzeva: I’ve never heard anything witty - they can only talk about a place in the kitchen and call them bumpkins. But these are trifles, therefore they are not annoying.
Are there only boys in women's football?
Anya Mironova: I was always comfortable with the boys - running, jumping, playing soccer. I was definitely not a princess girl, rather, yes - a kid. In childhood, parents did not say anything, they thought that it was such a part of physical education.
After school I didn’t play for ten years, and closer to 30 I couldn’t imagine that you could find a team and play with the girls. When I came to GirlPower, then I met a misunderstanding from my mother. “It’s time for you to start a family, everything, football is not exactly a female sport,” she said. But now we are watching the World Cup matches together, and it became easier with mom.
Around me in the locker room - beauties. Full of beautiful girls in other clubs. In winter, they played against the Russian Beauty team - there were girls of model appearance, thin and long, manicure, all things as if they had left the podium. Their special weapons are long legs, which are easy to tangled in. Usually girls do not scratch or bite - this is a stereotype. But in the game against them, traces of model nails still remained.
Masha Isaeva: At the same time, we do not have a beauty salon, but soccer. Look at our legs and nails - there are a lot of bruises, we are not running away from the fight. No one runs around with loose hair so that it flutters beautifully.
Nina Nazarova: If you saw me, you would understand that this is not so. On the field - uniforms, leggings, shields. In the dressing room - skirts and boots. Brutality on the field does not prevent you from looking feminine the rest of the time.
Is the women's locker room smelly?
Anya Mironova: I was not in men's, there is nothing to compare. After training, everything is leveled by the aroma of deodorants, so the smell of sweat is not worth it for a long time. We are going to the game, as to work - perfume, a little tint, hairstyle. Personally, I go to the game as a holiday. It’s more pleasant for me to enter the beautiful field, but my hair will fall or it will deteriorate from hitting the ball - it doesn’t matter.
Masha Isaeva: As with any locker room, it stinks. Our team has a group FB - they regularly upload pictures: whose pants, whose shorts? There has not been a single training session so that there are no forgotten things left in the locker room. Even jeans are forgotten - what then did they leave in?
More about the locker rooms. We train at the Luzhniki Stadium, guys play in the same fields, they dress with us on the same floor. At first we didn’t get along very well, they told me a couple of times: “It would be better if I got married.” After training, these same guys go to the sauna, and they are absolutely naked: only a towel that nominally held on to something. And at first they had no idea that in this form they could meet someone of the wrong sex.
Over time, they got used to us. Now they behave decently, hide behind, even cheer for us.
Girls swear on the field?
Anya Mironova: Of course. No way without it. It happens that we swear at each other inside the team - it's just the finish. Then terribly ashamed. But we still try to be friendly. Before the match, we gather in a circle and talk out the main points: what do we expect from the game, what are the goals. Previously, during the game they shouted: "Mistaken." If you press the opponent, someone will really make a mistake. Then they stopped - we can win without an opponent’s mistakes. Now we shout: "To the end."
Masha Isaeva: It’s just that in my life I swear a lot (if something can be expressed succinctly - why not?), But I try not to swear at the team at all, because we are unprofessional.
The main complaint of the coach to us is why we play in silence. When men play in front of us and yell at each other, the coach explains: “It’s necessary like this.” Therefore, sometimes we can swear, shove each other, but basically everything is kind.
Nina Nazarova: Of course, swearing on the field, we are ordinary people. I swear more or less everywhere: at home, at work, on the field. If there are emotions, I can say something obscene. “Where did you run, mother” - our most popular emotion, we even called the Facebook group.
Are girls thinking too slowly on the field?
Anya Mironova: Of course, it depends on the level of tournaments, but even for amateurs everything happens very quickly - the ball flies back and forth, as if we are playing table tennis. Everyone in our team has a well-developed reaction, girls can think.For example, our super goalkeeper Ksyusha Dvoretskaya - we call her Buffon - loves Juventus and jumps in the corners so that the Champions League is resting.
Nastya Kobzeva: If we take me and the guy with the same level of training, the reaction will be the same. Only with the amendment that he had been playing in the yard since childhood, and the girl was often put aside.
Masha Isaeva: Men are trying to be jealous, as if we are climbing women's territory with women's football. They don’t have adequate reasons to defend football, therefore they shout that the girls are too slow moving and thinking. We play with ourselves, what's the problem?
After an interview with five girls-football players, I wanted to see them for the match.
Oleg, 29 years old: “I want to think that my wife is watching the game, not the sports guys running around the field”
- I have always been interested in sports in general and football in particular. Back in school years, he was looking forward to physical education lessons, and in the evenings he drove the ball with the guys from my yard. Now I work in one of the capital's banks, and as an unloading in the middle of workdays, once a week the management organizes soccer games for me and my colleagues. I participate in these games all the time.
Naturally, my wife is well aware of my hobby and partly shares it. We have three sports channels at home and when football matches are broadcast on television (and this, fortunately, happens quite often), she sits next to her and, it seems to me, is watching the game with interest. Well, in any case, I want to think that she is watching the game, and not the sports guys running around the field (laughs). But even with many years of experience watching football matches, my wife no-no and yes will ask me some question that leads me into a stupor. For example, once she asked what the “penalty” is, although before that she had seen how they pierced him dozens of times.
She also constantly forgets what form the team plays for, which we support. Spouse may well clarify this during the second half, imagine? The question is: before that, who were you worried about? Yes, in fact, she usually calls football halves rounds or rounds ...