As per a study by University of Portsmouth, women’s football, struggling with issues such as poor pitches and low wages, may now be set back further (PIc: Twitter, Guardian).
The future of English Women’s Football is under unprecedented threat due to the coronavirus crisis. A research suggests crucial action must be taken to protect its future.
According to a study by the University of Portsmouth, women’s football, which already struggles with issues such as poor pitches and low wages may now be further set back.
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“History has shown that at times of financial insecurity, clubs and the FA cut investment in the women’s game,” Beth Clarkson, the lead author of the study said. “Given the historical devaluation of women’s football, there is a danger that recent advances in women’s football may be lost and progress set back decades.”
The study has further indicated that the future of women’s football can be protected by ‘being entrepreneurial in approaches generating revenue for the women’s game,’ and ‘recognising issues surrounding player wellbeing that might be felt acutely in women’s football and acting accordingly.’
WC Venues on Track: AIFF
All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das said the coronavirus pandemic has not obstructed preparation at all five venues of the postponed FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India. The World Cup was originally scheduled to be held in November this year will be staged from February 17 to March 7, 2021.
"These are unforeseen circumstances, and there have been some setbacks. But three of the five venues had already hosted the U-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017 and they do not require much changes," said Das.
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"Among the other two venues -- Bhubaneswar and Ahmedabad -- most of the work is on schedule. In Odisha, we have been working closely with the State Government, and also in Ahmedabad. We are quite hopeful that the venues will be ready in time," he added.
Despite all footballing activities in India suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis, Das has stated that U-17 preparatory camps will start soon.
"Right now our coach is back in Sweden, while the players are back at their respective residences. There are some travel restrictions but we are working on how and when we can safely restart the camp," the AIFF official said.
Premier League clubs Approve Contact Training
At a meeting on Wednesday, Premier League football clubs unanimously approved to return to contract training including tackling as the English top flight moves towards resuming games
A statement said: “Shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so. Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.
“The Premier League’s priority is the health and wellbeing of all participants. Strict medical protocols are in place to ensure the training ground is the safest environment possible and players and staff will continue to be tested for Covid-19 twice a week.
“Stage Two of the return to training protocol has been agreed following consultation with clubs, players, managers, the PFA, LMA and the Government. Discussions are ongoing as work continues towards resuming the season, when conditions allow.”
Last week clubs began their first phase of ‘Project Restart’ after agreeing to a return to training in small groups under strict limitations and no contact.
Korea-China Olympic Qualifier
The Olympic women’s qualifier between South Korea and China -- already postponed -- has now been scheduled for February 2021, a year later than its initial date.
The Asian Football Federation (AFC) said on Wednesday that the rivals will face off over two legs on February 19 and 24 next year. The first leg will be held in South Korea (ranked 18th under the official FIFA rankings) with China (ranked 15th).
Both sides were supposed to meet in March but the decision was pulled back to June in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The AFC said in a statement, “The latest decision was confirmed to allow both member associations to have sufficient preparation time considering the challenging and unprecedented circumstances brought about by the pandemic.”
Japan and Australia are the two Asian teams to have qualified to play in Tokyo.
Former India Footballer Waseem Passes Away
Former International Football, SS Waseem, the brother of Olympian SS Hakeem, passed away due to a heart attack in Hyderabad on Tuesday. The 72-year-old, also known as Mohammed Matin, represented India and captained Andhra Pradesh.
Waseem represented the Indian youth team in 1972 and played for the senior national team in 1975. He played as stopper-back for almost a decade between 1970-80. The former international footballer retired as an assistant commissioner in the customs and central excise department and is survived by his wife and two sons.
Former India captains Mohd Shabbir Ali, Victor Amalraj and international Aleem Khan were among those who expressed condolences to the bereaved family members.
Waseem’s brother and Olympian footballer SS Hakim also expressed shock and said, “He was an excellent player and got the opportunity to play for the top three clubs of Kolkata — East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting. But since he was the youngest in the family, my mother did not allow him to go to Kolkata then.”
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