SBD/Issue 82/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Blatter's Remarks About Women's Soccer Uniforms Draw Reax

Blatter Taking Criticism For
Remarks About Women’s Soccer

After FIFA President Sepp Blatter said last week that women's soccer players should wear sexier uniforms to bring more attention to the game, FIFA Media Dir Andreas Herren said, "The remarks were by no means meant to be offensive — not at all. Whatever he said, it was more a general remark, 'Let's take a look at that.' But it's not the ultimate recipe to salvage the women's game because he went on to say women's football has established itself and it has a future" (AP, 1/17).

REAX: U.S. Women's National Team member Brandi Chastain said of Blatter, "Anyone who thinks that a uniform will draw people to the game is severely off base. The game of football itself is what brings people to the stadium, not what the players are wearing. He should continue to focus on the development of the women's game rather than trying to sexualize it." U.S. Women's National Team member Julie Foudy: "Instead of talking about tight shorts, FIFA should be focusing on increasing its support for the women's game" (AP, 1/17). During a panel discussion at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's annual convention in Charlotte, NC, former U.S. Women's National Team member Tracy Ducar said, "I think the real question is who are you marketing yourself to? Are you marketing yourself to little girls ... or are you marketing yourself to the guy who wants to see the woman? I think we need to present ourselves as feminine off the field. ... I don't think on the field we need to wear tighter clothing." DC United President & CEO Kevin Payne: "I would find it offensive that the only way some people thought the league could survive is to somehow objectify the women. ... I can't imagine what President Blatter, who has actually been a very strong supporter of women's soccer, ... was thinking when he said that" (THE DAILY). Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women & Sport Exec Dir Karin Lofstrom said players "want to be taken as an athlete first, and if you have a uniform that's inappropriate, people think it's sex that's selling it." Canadian Women's National Team coach Even Pellerud: "If FIFA or soccer nations are not able to sell [women's soccer] ... maybe there's another problem than how the players look" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/17).

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