The World Cup is well under way with each team playing at least one match. The tournament is supposed to be a great opportunity to showcase some of the best female athletes in the world. However, the Women’s National Teams for the 24 countries competing are overwhelmingly coached by men.
There are only seven female managers at the World Cup. That’s less that 30 percent of the managers at the tournament. Furthermore, of the top-10 ranked teams in the world, only four are coached by women. These numbers are staggering, especially when compared to the men’s version of the tournament last year. Every side was coached by someone of the same gender as the players he was coaching.
To my knowledge, there are no Becky Hammons in both club and international men’s football. But there’s a hell of a lot of male coaches in female club and international football.
That’s not to say any of the male coaches at the World Cup are unqualified for the job. Take England boss Phil Neville, for example. He won the European Treble with Manchester United in 1999. He tallied over five hundred appearances in the Premier League and 59 with the English Men’s National Team. He’s a wonderful coach.
What are the issues?
These statistics, though, further highlight the sexism that pervade Football Associations – the governing bodies of countries football leagues and the organization responsible for the national teams – around the world. There are several reasons why there aren’t more women coaching women’s national teams.
The first is opportunity. People need coaching licenses in many countries to coach at high levels. Countries, especially top ten countries such as Australia and France, need to prioritize making more opportunities available for women to attain the highest coaching licenses that those countries award.
A second is trust. One reason more women aren’t managing more Women’s National Teams is that FA’s might not trust a woman with the job. Should that be the case, ew. Just ew.
A third, however, could be that the women’s game is still developing. The best players and football personnel could still be playing in some countries. Take Nadine Angerer for example. She was the main goalkeeper for Germany from 1996-2015. She’s currently the Portland Thorns FC goalkeeping coach in the NWSL and has been since she retired in 2015. She, after gaining more experience as a coach, might be a great candidate to manage the German National Team.
As the tournament progresses, keep in mind the airtime male managers get compared to female managers. It’ll be very lopsided, simply because there’s more men coaching in the World Cup. That’s an issue.
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