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SoccerGrlProbs: The Fight for Equal Grounds

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hedviglindahl: This is how we celebrate a 3-0 win!

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Chances are, if you’re a woman and you’ve had much contact with the leadership of FIFA, you have a story to tell about sexism and soccer’s world governing body.

U.S. forward Abby Wambach tells one from the time she and her now-wife, Sarah Huffman, were backstage in a VIP room in January 2013 before the World Player of the Year awards gala in Zurich, Switzerland. “[FIFA president] Sepp Blatter came into our little area, and he walked straight up to Sarah and thought she was [Brazilian star] Marta,” says Wambach.

“Marta!” Blatter said, hugging a bewildered Huffman, who doesn’t look much like Marta. “You are the best! The very best!”

“He had no idea who Marta was, and she’s won the award five times,” says Wambach. “For me, that’s just a slap in the face because it shows he doesn’t really care about the women’s game.”

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Former U.S. World Cup winner Julie Foudy tells a story about the time she was part of the globally televised draw for the men’s 1998 World Cup in Marseille, France. Blatter said something about her onstage in French. “I don’t speak French,” says Foudy, “but when I got off the stage two women who worked for FIFA were kind of angry.”

“Why are you angry?” Foudy asked them.

“We don’t like what he just said about you,” said one.

“What did he say?”

“That they brought you here because you looked good—and nothing about your football.”

With Women’s World Cup on horizon, sexism remains part of FIFA culture (via thrace-)
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