with the word, Nadine Basttos

The World Cup here in Qatar is super well organized, like all the ones I’ve been to. The stadiums are beautiful, as in all the others. We white, straight men have nothing to complain about. They do everything for us. And for women?

To give you an idea, I’m in a hotel with master Juca Kfouri, journalist Domitila Becker and video reporter Raquel Arriola. I learned that when they came down from their rooms after breakfast time, they weren’t served. But the first time I went down, and well after hours, I had breakfast normally. Talking, we realized that they were not served because they are women.

Qatar does not respect human rights, treats women as inferior beings and is intolerant of gender issues. They are real homophobes.

Fifa, through president Gianni Infantino, censored any demonstration by the players, even forbidding captains to wear the “One Love” armband.

There were some protests for various reasons during the Cup, but there are secret agents from the Iranian intelligence department who are here to observe the behavior of Iranian women in stadiums. And also Qatari agents among the fans to spy not only on the behavior of the women Qatarisbut also gestures of support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

There were attacks and mistreatment of Iranian female fans, as the Domitila report clearly showed.

But this Thursday, in the game between Costa Rica and Germany, Fifa chose an all-female arbitration trio. The referee will be Stéphanie Frappart, from France, with assistants Neuza Back, from Brazil, and Karen Diaz Medina, from Mexico.

Without a doubt, it is an achievement, a great victory. But, from my perspective as a man who defends human and women’s rights and is against all prejudices, it makes me have a slightly suspicious view of this lineup.

To begin with, I don’t trust FIFA’s decisions. Second, it looks like this is a protocol decision, like marking a card. Perhaps to try to change the eyes of the West to the violent machismo that exists here.

If FIFA has a real concern with the advancement of women in refereeing and wants to demonstrate that there is equal importance to men, it should have chosen a female trio in the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador. Now, I hope to see them in the knockout stage too.

As I said, I am quite happy with this female achievement. I’ve told several times in interviews that I was raised and educated by three women. Because my father left at 5 am for work and since I was very young I listened very carefully to the advice of the women in my house.

I grew up with a very feminine view of the world, because that’s how I learned things: through the eyes of my mother and my sisters.

As my mother used to say: women don’t need men to take care of them. They need partnership.

Here I was concerned not to simply give my opinion about this achievement of female arbitration. I wanted to talk to a female referee to find out about the importance and emotional side of this victory.

That’s why I looked for the former great referee assistant and great commentator Nadine Basttos, to find out how this is messing with her.

With the word, Nadine Basttos:

This debut of an all-female arbitration represents the hope that things can change, that the inclusion of women and their rights are equal.

Having a female arbitration trio refereeing a men’s soccer match in the biggest competition in the world means that our fight is worth it, and we will always be in search of our rights, stronger every day, because we deserve this space. May this be the beginning of a new cycle.

I am extremely emotional, we dreamed of this day, and I want to take the opportunity to congratulate these women who deserve to live this moment.

Despite this World Cup being held in a country with so many restrictions on women’s rights, we are not going to stop fighting, and that this historic achievement is a way for us to unite more and more so that rights are for everyone.

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