Author Topic: Women make their way onto a 'man's pitch'  (Read 702 times)

Offline David

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Women make their way onto a 'man's pitch'
« on: October 29, 2007, 05:58:27 PM »
Vastly overshadowed by their male colleagues, a total number of 300 women football players are trying to be a part of Turkish football agenda, trying to make their voice heard in a man-dominated area

  Women's national football team coordinator Fethi Demircan claims that Turkish women are more talented on the pitch than their male counterparts are and will prove it when given the chance. The number of Turkish women interested in football has been on the rise in the last few years.

  “Football is still the most popular sport in the world but its popularity has dropped. That's why FIFA [world football's governing body] sees the future of the sport in women's football,” he said.

  Demircan added that Germany has 860,000 licensed women footballers and the United States has more than 2 million. “Even Norway with its population of 4.5 million has 86,000 women footballers while we have only 300 with a population of 70 million. Turkcell Super League clubs must be the pioneers to help us increase this number but only Trabzonspor has done so thus far. This is not enough,” he said. 

  The Turkish women's football league had 16 teams competing in two groups but this year the number has grown to 25 teams. Demircan says this will help the efforts. “Despite all difficulties, our team has beaten some very strong teams of European countries, which proves that the Turkish women football players are way more talented than the men.”

‘Men sabotage the efforts':

  Women's Under-17 squad coach Ali Kızılet said men's dominance in Turkish football was the reason why women's football was not developing.

  “We have had serious problems in women's football and the sources of those problems were mostly men,” he said. “Men think that playing football is a man's thing, and they sabotage your efforts to keep it that way. It was forbidden for girls to play football in schools until 2006; the lifting of this ban was the biggest development for women's football,” he said.

  Despite the recent developments in women's football in Turkey, Turkish women's national football squad coach Hamdi Aslan is still concerned about the future. “I hope that current players do not consider this a hobby because they do not have a regular income. If they are going to continue, they will need the support of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and the media. They should not be ignored or treated unfairly just because they are women,” he said.