Girls in football: a look from the inside
Young participants of 2021 Football for Friendship programme shared their own personal stories of being a girl in the football community.
Narissa Bramle Farrell, 13 y.o., Montserrat: Girls are just as capable of playing football as boys are. In some matches the females would end up dirtier than the males while they are playing matches. Is this because they play rougher? Or is it because they push themselves more?
In my experience in playing football, I have been rejected by a lot of boys. Since 2 of the 3 days I go training it is with boys. While we are playing a match, I would be open, but they would still not pass the ball. With that I decided I would show them how good I could actually play. From that day I knew I would have some difficulties as people would want to reject me because they would feel I can not play well. On my career path I see me being a professional footballer.
To me I think a role model is someone who you can look up to and admire for whatever reason you have. It is also someone who you would push yourself to be like and one day achieve awards like them.
Moriah Ako Eta, 15 y.o., Cameroon: As a young girl growing up I have always wanted to be a journalist, so I made sure I did exceptionally well in my studies just to meet my goal. I have always been that one strange kid who was determined to set a path and a name for myself. My Dad is from the very big football team and in my leisure time I trained with them. Being a girl who is in love with football was an awesome experience. I was always bullied by my friends who called me a boy with a girl’s appearance, but that didn’t stop me from playing football. I always believed that it brings the world together because it is the only profession without discrimination. Being a girl who loves football among people with the same worldview is a truly different and amazing feeling because now my friends value me and, most of all, my love for football. Now I can proudly say I am a young Journalist with a football flying flag.
Nanihi Broseus, 16 y.o., Tahiti: My passion for football is indescribable. I have loved playing soccer since the age of 4. The first time I joined a match they told me that I was too small but I didn’t mind it. I was growing up on a small island, and I always woke up early on Saturday mornings to get picked up for the game with other kids of my age. My parents supported me all the time. I am from a humble and religious family whose members believe in God. I am very dedicated to football. I made a sacrifice to pursue a career in this game”.
Kenzy Ayman Ahmad Ibrahim, 12y.o., Bhutan: For lots of generations people ask the same question over and over but as a girl footballer that plays with boys and girls I will be able to answer it. What is the difference between men’s and women’s football? In fact, it’s not that big. We have the same rules, the same number of players and even the same clubs, but there are still some issues.
To begin with, there is a big difference in the physical strength between boys and girls. When boys start most of them are strong but for the girls half of them will have to train very well.
Also, some countries don’t really care about women’s football. It doesn’t get enough coverage in the media that focus just on men’s sports. This happens a lot in the Arab GCC countries. Only a decent number of countries treat men’s and women’s football equally, they include USA, Netherlands, England etc. Especially America, because it won the last Women’s world cup that was played in France. According to FIFA, the strongest women’s football team in the world is the United States women’s national soccer team.
I do think that gender-equal sports is possible, but the media should focus on both women’s and men’s football equally. It must help because nowadays everyone uses it, especially due to the pandemic.