The long struggle of football players for the recognition of their rights

Striker Marie Antoinette Catoto (left) listens to then France coach Corine Diacre during a training session in Ashby de la Zouche, England on July 15, 2022, during the Euro (Frank Fife)

Striker Marie Antoinette Catoto (left) listens to then France coach Corine Diacre during a training session in Ashby de la Zouche, England on July 15, 2022, during the Euro (Frank Fife)

Wage demands, combating sexist violence, media exposure: footballers have fought for years for greater recognition and equality in a purely male environment.

– Ada Hegerberg and Team Norway –

The first winner in the history of the Women’s Ballon d’Or (2018), Ada Hegerberg has become one of the notable voices in favor of greater attention to women’s football.

The Norwegian decided to withdraw from the national team following a setback at Euro 2017, a first-round elimination, with her goal and zero points, amid criticism that she felt the Scandinavian nation’s federation was misdirected and did not take the women’s national team seriously.

Shortly thereafter, Norway became the first country in the world where female national team players began to receive the same remuneration as their male counterparts.

However, this step forward was not enough for those who, in addition to wage inequality, also denounced differences in treatment.

Only in 2022, three months before the Eurocup, did the top scorer in the history of the Champions League (59 goals) agree to return to the national team after “very honest conversations” with the new president of the federation. , Lisa Claveness.

– Battle of Megan Rapinoe –

The great architect of the United States’ victory at the 2019 World Cup, Megan Rapinoe has taken advantage of this tournament as a planetary speaker for her statements.

He increased the number of interviews granted to demand, among other things, equal pay for women and men and increased financial commitment from FIFA and sponsors.

At the press conference, the American star did not hesitate to criticize the football authorities for scheduling the women’s World Cup final on the same day as the men’s America’s Cup and Gold Cup finals, which is “disrespectful.” according to Rapino.

After the end of the World Cup, the world champions, led by Rapino, began a lengthy legal battle against the US Football Federation, which “stubbornly refuses” to pay its players equal salaries.

A struggle that ended only in May 2022 with an agreement establishing equal salaries between both teams.

– 15 from “La Roja” –

In September 2022, after a disappointing Eurocup 2022 quarter-final elimination, three Spain captains – Irene Paredes, Patri Guijarro and Jenny Hermoso – called a press conference to report a “general malaise” within the Reds. ‘.

The players pointed to the lack of professionalism and ambition, as well as the methods of coach Jorge Vilda, who has held this position since 2015.

Shortly thereafter, the Spanish Football Federation reported receiving an email sent by fifteen players from La Roja “importantly affected” on an “emotional” and health level, in which they left the national team, “as long as the situation will not be reversed.”

The coach, who called the case “ridiculous”, remained at his post, and 15 “rebels” were expelled from the group. Some retreated after a few months, and three of them, Aitana Bonmati, Marion Kaldentey and Ona Batl, were finally included in the World Cup.

– Rise of the Blues –

A long-buried crisis came to light on February 24 this year when France captain Wendy Renard announced her departure from Blue, saying she could no longer “support the current system, which he felt was too far away” from the Blues. highest level requirements.

Star players Marie Antoinette Catoto and Cadidiatou Diani noted the “unprofessionalism” of the coaching staff of the tricolor, as well as the “management” methods of coach Corine Diacre, which are considered authoritarian and dubious.

This rebellion, later supported by other French players, led to the dismissal on March 9 of Corine Diacre, who had held this position since 2017. She was replaced by Herve Renard.


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