Yes I love and understand football, no I'm not a man

  • Proma Sanyal, Kolkata
  • Updated: Jun 20, 2014 07:46 IST

With the World Cup underway, everyone is gearing up in their own way for the month-long party. It's nothing different for me.

Amongst other things, I was keeping a keen lookout on the various football forums on Facebook for trivia and the latest updates regarding squads until I was completely exasperated by the manner in which football, at least on social media, is assumed to be owned by men.

More than once, I was saddened to see the number of sexist posts that are being circulated by the "real men" about what rules women should follow during the World Cup. The rules cover a wide spectrum from "keeping the kitchen ready with sandwiches and beer for half-time" to not "asking for the remote for a month".

While social networking sites are bursting with videos and articles about recognising the equal status of women in various walks of life, a woman who understands the offside rule and stays up to watch La Liga is almost nothing short of the eighth wonder of the world.

It is simply unfortunate to assume that football is a man's sport in a world where stadiums across the globe are almost equally shared by men and women. It is can only be hoped that names of women such as Helena Costa, the head coach of Clermont Foot and Maria Rebello, a referee in the I-League, will drive home the very simple fact that love for football does not require a Y chromosome.

The concept of team spirit that football carries on its shoulder will reach its peak only when men and women can overcome social barriers and enjoy the game, shoulder to shoulder equally as an instance of normalcy. Till then "All In or Nothing" remains a distant dream.

(The writer is a student in Kolkata)

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