The male vs. female FIFA aspect of play
If you are a soccer fanatic I am sure that you have heard in the news in the recent months following up to the Women’s World Cup (WWC), the battle of women players around the world for the decision of the most prestiges tournament in soccer to be played on turf.
The players joined together to try to fight the decision that FIFA has decided to let the host country Canada to set their pitches on artificial turf. The players decided to file a suit against FIFA and Canada on the basis of discrimination and that no major tournament has ever been played on the artificial turf and the fact that the male soccer players would never agree on such a decision to play on turf shows basis for inequality. The players due to preparation for the World Cup with there respected national teams, decided to drop the lawsuit.
The World Cup has begun June 6th and through the broadcasts and numerous games, I have noticed one thing, the quality of play is just not the same and the player’s I am sure have many scars or injuries in regards to turf burns and similar. The sport of soccer or as in Europe, football, is meant to be played on grass and not turf, I agree that turf is a good substitute but nothing more than a substitute. This is second class playing pitch and has never even been considered to be used in the Men’s WC. The WC in general should not use artificial turf in such big tournaments as the men’s and women’s WC, because it changes the complete aspect of the game. We wait four years for such a tournament only to have it minimized due to gender. There is basis for discrimination and FIFA is not one to be considered of an organization that completely plays the gender equality card. When looking through FIFA’S legal documents and regulations, it can be easily concluded that the WWC on turf is true nature of gender inequality. If the Men’s WC has always been on natural surfaces and is not considered to make changes to turf than it can be concluded that the WWC being played on turf is a true sign of taking away the meaning of WC just due to the gender of the whole aspect.
I have grown up watching, playing, and coaching soccer and with this in mind, FIFA has always been a great organisation in my mind,at least with the thought of making equality in all aspects a part of there ambitions, but have they completely battled inequality amongst the genders? No, FIFA has so much more room to make improvements especially with the current issues in FIFA and with the WWC being played on a surface the the men’s national teams would never even consider. Through the legal aspect I can conclude that FIFA is far from being completely equal to women soccer players, although they have tried to make changes. Let’s look at other aspects not just the turf war, recently I have helped a women player with a transfer and the FA in the country was shocked that a professional player did not go through the Transfer Matching System (TMS), I had to explain to the FA that TMS is only applied to professional male players and not women. The difficulties I had with an International transfer of the player made me question why FIFA does not have a program for the transferring of women players. The TMS program is set to make the transfers easier, faster, and more transparent but than why do I have to go through so much trouble and time to transfer a “professional” women player just on the basis that she is a women and not a male player.
Not to go through the complete analysis of FIFA and their regulations but it can be a concluded thought this small analysis that their idea of equality of the gender’s have shifted to a different view of a FIFA. The view of FIFA has shifted solely due to recent actions, that women players are to receive second standard rights from playing surfaces to transfer aspects. The sport of soccer is meant to be played by all and not having similarity among a powering organisation of soccer such as FIFA is a set back from the ambitions of such organisation for the equality of gender. There must be a change and there should be no separation to the regulations or aspects just due to the gender of a player, we should all receive the similar playing rights because in the end it is the same sport and the differences just pull away from the true aspect of soccer. The practice of equality amongst genders should be recognized globally and not only on the pitch but in the legal regulations and the other aspects that govern the sport of soccer.
My name is Sabrina Buljubasic 26 years old and both Bosnian and American nationality. Have graduated with a BA in International Law at AUBIH and recently received my masters in International Sports Law from ISDE, Spain. Professional background: Founder of the women’s football club Salt City and previous vice-president of the club, also helped in legal consulting, transfers, and translations of contracts. My playing background starts from 12 years old at Vancouver, WA for the club Pumas-won 3 state titles till the age of 18, Fort Vancouver High School varsity for 4 years with a third place in State division, Eclipse Premier Club-one season, Bellevue College Seattle, WA-3 months, WC Salt city Tuzla, BIH-3 years in premier league of Bosnia, WC SFK 2000 Sarajevo, BIH-2 years (premier league champs). Captain of two club teams and high school. Achievements: MVP for state tournament-2 times, all-league center-mid for High school and state of WA, full-scholarship to Bellevue college. Other than playing I have coached the WC Salt City first team for a year and a half.