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On 7/6/2022 at 10:32 AM, red card said:

Barbara Banda who plays for Shanghai and played for Zambia last year at the Olympics where she was the first player to score back-to-back hat-tricks, has been ruled out of AFCON because she failed gender identity tests.

She apparently takes medication to reduce her naturally high testosterone levels.

 

Incredible.  When women are too good, they obviously aren't women!  I get that her testosterone levels are high, but this occurs naturally, and one shouldn't have to medicate an otherwise non-medical issue. 

If she was a man, the world would celebrate her 'freakish' sporting achievements (Phelps, Bolt, among others) but instead she's outcast as a freak!

Not a woman!  (But not a man!) So she either brings herself down to the level of her teammates, or doesn't play. Like Castor Semenya (appropriately brought up in the article), she is being shamed, when the shame really lies with the sport governing bodies!

I find this whole issue pitiful.  And frankly, this is just one more example of barriers that women face around the world that men just don't have to even think about.

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On 8/3/2022 at 1:55 PM, red card said:

After the busiest month for women's national team football, here's where I think they stand.

Euros: A generation ahead of the other confeds. Good attendance in the stands and watching on tv in a few countries. Tactics, goalkeeping, fitness & strength all have markedly improved. Lowest level of cultural resistance to women's football, most monies to spend and most infrastructure to leverage. 

Eng v Esp was probably the best women's national team match I have seen in terms of quality and "breathless" entertainment factor. Ger v Fra was a proper clash of heavyweights, throbbing tempo, high level strategy & tactics, good technical skills on display and good amount of shithousery.

Canada is going to have even a harder time breaking down these nations in the 2023 World Cup.  But they do have the advantage of pace. In defending, only about 3 Euro teams can probably score against Canada if playing at peak levels. The women's game needs more natural born strikers. The US still has the advantage of their transition & crossing game and possibly having a new superstar emerging by next year.

Copa America: Basically capacity crowds for host nation matches of Colombia. Finally saw match characteristics on par with men's Conmebol matches from shithousery, badgering refs & no holds barred fouls. Pace, strength, fitness & defending have improved but mostly subpar. Majority likely still not on board with women's football. Paraguay players protested during their anthems for their lack of support.

Brasil still dominates but Colombia has solidified its position as number 2 in Conmebol. Paraguay joins Argentina & Chile as emerging nations. 

WAFCON: Basically capacity crowds for host nation matches of Morocco. Some travelling support for certain other countries. But most of CAF don't take women's football seriously. CAF banned one of the stars of women's football for high testosterone even though she played in last year's Olympics. Action on the pitch was the most dynamic of all confeds but goalkeeping, defending, fitness & tactics are still subpar. Second highest level of dual nationals after Concacaf should help in growing more quickly.

Morocco emerged as a possible CAF power. South Africa & Nigeria proved they're still the best of CAF. Zambia continued showing their exciting potential on the heels of their Tokyo performance. 

Concacaf: Lowest crowds. Only tourney with no travelling supporters. Only tourney where the host nation didn't make the final.

US & Canada are at the level of the top 6 Euro teams while the rest are more in line with CAF & Conmebol (ex Brasil/Colombia). Haiti could qualify depending on groupings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2024_CONCACAF_W_Gold_Cup_qualification

At least concacaf has a plan for women's football. Straight after the world cup a nations league type competition starts with home and away games, League A 3 groups of 3 top 3 qualify direct, 3 second place play against the  3 winners of league B groups which will be groups of 4. Some teams will have to play 8 games over 4 windows to qualify, US and Likely Canada won't participate in the nations league. But I do wonder if US and Canada will send their A team to the June 2024 tournament which is just before the olympics?. Obviously this tournament has to be in the US to attract the crowds and 4 highly ranked guest countries are needed as well.

Edited by morgenstern112
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The best story-telling style women's football podcast I have listened to is Hustle Rule.

It's good because it's based on a book: Under the Lights by Gwendolyn Oxenham. It's hosted by Hannah Waddingham.

Over 7 episodes, they go from Lagos to a team in North Carolina that believes homosexuality is a sin to how Allie Long made the US team playing men's street futbol to keeping your national team spot while pregnant to Nadia Nadim to Santos FC.

 

https://www.iheart.com/podcast/1119-hustle-rule-the-untold-st-98385483/

 

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This year's Ballon d'Or nominees are out. No Olympics. No Canadians. Other than possibly for Buchanan, no one made enough of an impact at a major club.

All play in Europe ex Morgan & Rodman - and these are probably not the best players to select from the NWSL. France D1 leads, followed by Spain.

At the national team level, European nations dominate ex 1 Aussie, 3 Americans & 1 Nigerian. 

 

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Content is king. A good celly helps. But announcers & director aren't up to speed yet.

“Female soccer players tend to just all go to each other and ‘Kumbaya,’ and we love that,” LaBonta said. “I think we really want to start making it a little more fun and having individual celebrations. So, that was sent to me on Twitter, and I said ‘bet.’”

 

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They don't stop: now players from the Spain NT are calling for the resignation of the coach, Jorge Vilda. I find this attitude a bit much, a bit prima donna, blaming him for their own limitations (striking, especially). 

Spain couldn't compete well in the Eurocup mostly because Putellas, best player in the world the awards say, tore her knee 4 days before it started. 

This follows on the Barça players getting Lluís Cortès fired after he led them to the Women's Champions League (he then went to coach Ukraine, poor guy). Of course many of the same players then and now. 

https://www.marca.com/futbol/futbol-femenino/seleccion/2022/08/30/630decbc22601de54a8b4599.html

I don't agree at all that players should have this power in this way. Men or women. In any case, if they think their contracts should be respected, playing well or badly, why shouldn't the coach be afforded the same respect? 

 

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Iceland disappointed at the last moment both at the Euros & now WCQ. But they're 9 UEFA nations that qualified for the playoffs in October.

Swiss, Iceland & Ireland start in playoff second round.

Austria, Belgium, Scotland, Portugal, Wales and B & H start in playoff first round.

The 3 winners are ranked based on 9 group stage/playoff results. Top 2 go to World Cup. Third place goes to inter continental playoffs next February in New Zealand.

Italy also qualified today by winning their group over the Swiss.

 

 

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DAZN has signed a deal for the Spanish women’s league which will go by it’s new name liga F. It will be for about US$7 million/yr for 5 years for 16 clubs. It is expected select matches to be shown in Canada.

This will put liga F in second in terms of women’s league broadcast rights. WSL is getting about US$17 million/yr for 12 clubs with 25% going to division 2 clubs. WSL has separate global deals with DAZN, NBC, Optus (AUS), Sky Mexico, Nordic Ent & SN – no money details disclosed.

NWSL gets US$1.5 million/yr from CBS/twitch but it will be expiring in about a year. 

Liga F deal could mean more French & German league players could be heading for Spain unless the clubs with a club in the men’s leagues allocate more monies.

In this vein, it was announced today that Euro Final Player of the Match Kiera Walsh is set to move to Barca from Man City for a record women's fee of 400k pounds. Now this move could be because Walsh & Bronze (also moved to Barca) are partners and Walsh wants to play in Champions League. But not sure why everyone is leaving Man City. 

 

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Related to above, they didn't play Fixture 1 of the Liga F because the refs went on strike.

They were making below minimum wage. They've requested to become professional, and get 1/6 of men's refs, about 50 thousand euros a year. The league in turn is offering full refs half that, assistants even less.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After the Eurocup many Spanish players seemed to be pressuring to have their coach, Jorge Vilda, relieved of his duties. This pressure was indirect, but seemed to be supported by some of the Spanish women starters.

Now 15 players have openly said, in a similar email though all sent separately, that they won't play for the WNT if Vilda continues. Amongst them, starting keeper Sandra Paños, Lola Gallardo who is 2nd keeper, Ona Battle who is at Manchester United, Barça mids Aitana Bonmati and M Caldentey, young FCB striker Claudia Pina, Mapi Leon who's a CB at Barça, or Leila Ouahabi, now at Manchester City. Alexia Putellas did not sign, nor did Paredes.

Their common email argued that having the current coach affected their mental and physical health. 

This following is the statement by the Spanish federation, which censures all 15, says they could be subject to sanction and that they won't play for the NT again if they don't apologize and recognise their error. It also reminds them that they have no say in who the coach is and are acting outside of any established norm. It calls the attitude toxic, disrespectful to the entire staff. It reminds them that Spain will play with its youth teams if necessary--reminding them that Spain just won the World u-20s.

I personally agree: I find it repulsive this way of pressuring to blame a coach, instead of assuming your role and asking how you can improve. And also when the result was to be expected. And even more so after the Barça players seemed to have made a similar ploy to get Lluís Cortés fired after he led them to their only CL. You are a player, you sign with a club or wear your national shirt. You can't decide who plays beside you, not who's on the bench, you do your job and the National Federation does theirs. 

The degree of entitlement and capricious arrogance is astonishing. 

https://www.mundodeportivo.com/seleccion-espanola/20220922/1001872606/duro-comunicado-rfef-jugadoras-disidentes.html

Edited by Unnamed Trialist
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32 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

After the Eurocup many Spanish players seemed to be pressuring to have their coach, Jorge Vilda, relieved of his duties. This pressure was indirect, but seemed to be supported by some of the Spanish women starters.

Now 15 players have openly said, in a similar email though all sent separately, that they won't play for the WNT if Vilda continues. Amongst them, starting keeper Sandra Paños, Lola Gallardo who is 2nd keeper, Ona Battle who is at Manchester United, Barça mids Aitana Bonmati and M Caldentey, young FCB striker Claudia Pina, Mapi Leon who's a CB at Barça, or Leila Ouahabi, now at Manchester City. Alexia Putellas did not sign, nor did Paredes.

Their common email argued that having the current coach affected their mental and physical health. 

This following is the statement by the Spanish federation, which censures all 15, says they could be subject to sanction and that they won't play for the NT again if they don't apologize and recognise their error. It also reminds them that they have no say in who the coach is and are acting outside of any established norm. It calls the attitude toxic, disrespectful to the entire staff. It reminds them that Spain will play with its youth teams if necessary--reminding them that Spain just won the World u-20s.

I personally agree: I find it repulsive this way of pressuring to blame a coach, instead of assuming your role and asking how you can improve. And also when the result was to be expected. And even more so after the Barça players seemed to have made a similar ploy to get Lluís Cortés fired after he led them to their only CL. You are a player, you sign with a club or wear your national shirt. You can't decide who plays beside you, not who's on the bench, you do your job and the National Federation does theirs. 

The degree of entitlement and capricious arrogance is astonishing. 

https://www.mundodeportivo.com/seleccion-espanola/20220922/1001872606/duro-comunicado-rfef-jugadoras-disidentes.html

If this is strictly a disagreement about football....tactics, player selection, etc, then I'd agree with you. However, we've seen the world over the harm that a toxic manager can bring about. If it's an issue of player welfare, I'd side with the players. I don't know enough about the situation to speak any more on it than that, though. Much more to the story, I fear.

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7 hours ago, SthMelbRed said:

If this is strictly a disagreement about football....tactics, player selection, etc, then I'd agree with you. However, we've seen the world over the harm that a toxic manager can bring about. If it's an issue of player welfare, I'd side with the players. I don't know enough about the situation to speak any more on it than that, though. Much more to the story, I fear.

There's a point there.

But the question of supposed welfare or toxicity is mixing here with issues of what it means to be an elite athlete. If the coach is too strict they react, if too soft, the same. This time they mix saying they can't reach their potential with Vilda with saying it's unhealthy for them to play for him.

There's no specific detail of anything, no abuse, no hint of it. As there wasn't with Cortes either.l at Barça 

No player, make or female, gets to decide who the coach is. Then, if they change, the new coach feels she/he isn't hired by a club or federation, but by the players. How can you sit them, not call them, ask them to change position? You can't have them waving a sword over your head, it's back to when you coached 11 year olds and their parents came and threatened you because Lisa or Gino prefers to play left wing.

They're saying, we're uncoachable.

There is an issue with Vilda...his father was the physio under Cruyff at Barça. Rather legendary. He started coaching boys youth, is properly accredited, but then went to the federation and has been a Spanish FA man for years. Was asked to coach women when few were interested in doing so. Some say he's outdated, or else hasn't evolved with the game, is rudimentary....but fact is, the team competes well. The knockout vs the States last WC they were great. They were limited at the Eurocup because Putellas was injured but still outplayed England for 80 minutes. They have the same "limitation" as Barça, lack of clinical striking, one of the things least on the coach.

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  • 2 weeks later...

US Soccer released a 319 page Yates report on the issues at the NWSL (focus was on Chicago, Portland & Louisville). Could be a disturbing read for some. Keep in mind US Soccer ran NWSL up until 2020.

This report was initiated when Thorns coach Paul Riley was reported by the Athletic in 2021 that in 2015 Riley invited 2 players back to his apartment and asked them to kiss each other in exchange for getting the team out of a conditioning drill the next day. Riley also coerced at least 3 players into sexual relationships. Riley frequently talked with players about sex and encouraged them to do the same. He fixated on players’ sexual orientations and targeted players with grooming behaviour that included late night texts, drinking, and flirtatious comments about their appearance. Riley went on to coach Western NY Flash on a positive referral by the Thorns and then North Carolina.

Summary Findings: Our investigation has revealed a league in which abuse and misconduct had become systemic, spanning multiple teams, coaches, and victims. Abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women’s soccer, beginning in youth leagues, that normalizes verbally abusive coaching and blurs boundaries between coaches and players. The verbal and emotional abuse players describe in the NWSL is not merely “tough” coaching. And the players affected are not shrinking violets.

In well over 200 interviews, we heard report after report of relentless, degrading tirades; manipulation that was about power, not improving performance; and retaliation against those who attempted to come forward. Even more disturbing were the stories of sexual misconduct. Players described a pattern of sexually charged comments, unwanted sexual advances and sexual touching, and coercive sexual intercourse.

Teams, the League, and the Federation not only repeatedly failed to respond appropriately when confronted with player reports and evidence of abuse, they also failed to institute basic measures to prevent and address it, even as some leaders privately acknowledged the need for workplace protections. As a result, abusive coaches moved from team to team, laundered by press releases thanking them for their service, and positive references from teams that minimized or even concealed misconduct. 

 

Besides Riley, the report focused on 2 other coaches. Racing Louisville manager Christy Holly called a player in for a film session, stating he would touch her "for every pass" she made a mistake on. He pushed his hands down her pants and up her shirt. Holly also sexually coerced a player by inviting her to his home for what he said was a session to watch game film. Instead, he showed the player pornography and masturbated in front of her. 

Chicago coach Rory Dames fostered a sexualized team environment that included speaking to youth players about their sex lives. That environment “crossed the line to sexual relationships” in multiple cases, which the report says “may have begun after the age of consent.” Dames also screamed at and belittled players, and joked about the age of consent for sexual activity.

The report found that three organizations -- the Chicago, Portland and Louisville -- didn't fully cooperate with the Yates investigation, despite public statements to the contrary.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/united-states-nwsl/story/4760185/us-soccer-investigation-into-womens-game-finds-systemic-abusemisconduct

https://www.kslaw.com/attachments/000/009/931/original/King___Spalding_-_Full_Report_to_USSF.pdf?1664809048

https://theathletic.com/live-blogs/sally-yates-investigation-us-soccer-nwsl-reactions/RZN7nCDUxzDj/

Edited by red card
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Athletic goes over why a number of Spanish players have refused to play for their national team.

Vilda has been working for the Spanish FA in women's football for 12 years. His father was the u19 women's Spanish manager in 2010. He took over the u19s in 2014 when his father retired. He then took over the senior women's team in 2015 after another rebellion in the dressing room led to the manager Quereda being sacked. In 2021, a doc accused Quereda of harrassment & abuse. Vilda is also the Spanish technical director of women's football. 

Some players feel that Vilda’s treatment of them was childish at the start of his tenure. Until 2019, there was a rule that players could not lock the doors of their hotel rooms at night on international duty. They had to wait until the manager came over and checked everything was fine, according to his standards, before locking the door and going to sleep.

Key players have also pointed out the lack of tactical knowledge and analysis they have found among backroom staff. Insufficient physical preparation and the quality of training sessions have been also alarming, with one player saying she always felt in a worse condition when she returned to her club side after training with the national team.

The players felt they fell short at the Euros and could not fulfil their ambition to become a winning team. The rebellion was just a matter of time.

Vilda thinks all of this should have been kept & resolved behind closed doors. Spanish FA prez believes keeping his authority above everything is instrumental to his way of directing the FA, while Vilda insists he has no intention to back off, just as the 18 players seem willing to do.

The only reality at the minute is that less than nine months before the World Cup, Spain looks set to waste the best generation of women’s footballers the country has ever had.

https://theathletic.com/3645282/2022/10/05/spanish-women-football-implosion-vilda/

 

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