Sabrina Buljubasic

Discrimination working in football clubs.

Football is still considered a men’s sport in most parts of the world.

Where does women’s football stand in this era? We might believe that we have taken a strong step to overcome the difference of the genders but what we fail to realize is that football is still considered a men’s sport in most parts of the world.

The fact that the pay of such competitions as the World Cup is of great difference from the men’s award to the women’s is a sole example of the differences. Yes, there is a lot to consider not just the fact of the award but the TV ratings, ticket sales, and overall revenue, it is still a great difference between the two and this gap can be lessened.

The main point I wish to stress is to the women that are involved in sports but outside of the field, yes we all understand that in most countries football for now is leaning towards the male population but what we fail to realize is the complications women must overcome while working in clubs. I have experience as an athlete and as a person working in a sports club and may I say in both circumstances there is great differences applied to our male colleagues than there is to women. I am a founder of the first women’s football team in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina and I was the vice-president and a temporary coach at the same club. The city finally had a women’s football team that competed in the women’s premier league but without going further, I must mention the complications of such an accomplishment just due to the gender difference. It all seemed at the first point like a dream come true for me and many of the girls seeking to play football, but what you must realize is that you have to have tough skin going into a sport which most people found to be reserved only for men. I have received phone calls and numerous comments in regards to their daughters or to women playing in general to be not acceptable, which than I had some difficulties in acquiring the players for the league in general.

As well, I had problems within the club itself, by being told that I was not qualified or did not know what I was doing in the club because I am a woman by men that were working with me in the club. Growing up in the USA I was taught differently, so this type of view on football and on working for a club was new to me. Not only was I discriminated inside my own team but I received problems in receiving funding from the city itself, because they reserved the bare minimum for us to compete, unlike the men team . Due to the circumstances I was under, after numerous encounters and complications, I decided to leave the team because I was not able to make any changes and was not supported at all in any circumstances. After I have left the club, I finished a degree in sports law and since than I have been overlooking a few cases and I have realized the differences each country applies to women working in the football field or clubs. Let’s put it this way, some countries find it as an accomplishment while others find it as if I have no idea what I am talking about. It is very difficult to try to break through in an industry such as football when we can see that even at the top ranks as an athlete or a working woman in the club, we are faced by discrimination. Just look up Helena Costa and the problems she may have had as a coach of a men’s football team in France. We may believe that we have made such an accomplishment, and yes there are numerous parts of football that have improved for women but I believe that we overlook the aspect of women working within clubs and their problems with gender discrimination.

I must say that with all the complications I still love being part of the sport in numerous ways and if there is something I can take from all that I have experienced thus far, it is that I have tougher skin and that I will not let one complication decide my outcome. We must consider that women football players like men, have the complications of finding a career after being an athlete and being committed to such, we lose the ability to gain experience in a job outside of the sports world. Thus, opening the world of the sports industry for former women athletes to be part of(such as coaches, managers, etc.,.) will give the athlete ability to overcome the difficulties of finding a job and as well, will be more experienced by being a former player. If we take effort in trying to incorporate the male athletes into the industry of football after their career, than we must take similar considerations for women and try to combat the difficulties of working in a football club. Just because the person is a women does not mean she is not qualified to work within the football industry. We should not write-off someone for their gender but let their qualifications and skills speak for themselves.

1 Comment
  1. Asa 4 years ago

    Thank you Sabrina for the great blog

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