• Bob posted an update 3 months, 1 week ago

    OK, troll hat half on, but what is it that makes women’s football, even at the elite level of the current WC, so bloody unwatchable?

    When I am zapping through my TV I usually stick with any sport, but women’s football, like youth football, makes me reach for the remote immediately.

    In contrast, I find women’s athletics, gymnastics, tennis, judo, weightlifting, wrestling, volleyball, skiing, bobsleigh, swimming, you name it, all great to watch.

    Anybody else feel the same? I struggle to see a pattern in my preferences.

    • Personally, I hate watching football…love playing it though.

      However Women’s Football will grow and grow in popularity. As the sport grow’s, the advertising money will materialise and,at that point the game will expand exponentially.

      Give it a couple of generations to allow role-models to inspire young talent. Throw in a few trophies and the rose-tinted glasses of 1966 will fall away.

      • I have no problem at all with women playing football. I just struggle to understand why I subjectively find men’s football so much more attractive as a spectator, while in athletics or judo it makes no difference to me, and in gymnastics I even find the women’s version more attractive than the men’s event.

        • In the kindest words: Maybe you feel that football is “(one of) the last bastions of men’s sporting prowess?” I am just guessing….There is no reason to like women’s judo /athletics/ etc and and at the same time not to like women’s football IMHO (you did ask…)

          I am not interested in any of the sports above btw, but I do understand what it is like to be a woman in sports and up against it.

          No criticism, but you did ask for comment x

          • @bosworth Not really, I am no great fan of men’s football fan either, I just follow my shit hometown club (Nuremberg) out of nostalgia and masochism and I am only half serious anyway.

            The reason I posted was that last weekend I was trying to relax a bit by watching some sports coming home from a full day’s work and a five hour drive, but all that was on was women’s football. The only thing that would have been worse for me would have been horse dancing or golf….

            As I said, I don’t know what it is about women’s football in particular that makes me switch channels.

            My own sports are judo and climbing, and in both I like watching women’s comps as much as men’s events. The only other sport where I also strongly prefer watching the male version is handball (the Euro team game, not the UK version for forgetful squash players…), but that is similar to football in many respects.

          • What kind of gobbledygook is that? What is it like to be a woman in sports and be up against what? This isn’t prejudice, it’s a simple fact, there is no team sport I can think of where women are equal to men in terms of entertainment or skill or strength.

      • Yet it hasn’t.. it has struggled for a few decades. Even in the US the professional game has struggled and they’ve had the trophies.

        Women’s sport struggle, women leave sport as teenagers. It’s a massive issue for all sports to combat and so for limited success.

        The popularity of male football has nothing to do with 1966.

    • How do feel watching international women’s football compared to say Div 1 Men’s football?

      I don’t like football full stop, but personally the odd bit of the womens game I’ve seen I’ve preferred due to the lower incidents of shouting at refs, general falling about cheating etc,

      However a sport I do watch a lot is Rugby, and I have the same issue as you watching the womens’ game – it is just not as compelling, but I think this is a factor of participation and the number of players and skill levels available… For me the Womens internationals are around the standard of the lower end of Championship Rugby. I’m sure in time with more participation this will even out. I still watch it though, and the contest in the game is just as good… it’s just missing those bits of magic.

    • The two reasons I can think of;

      1) a lack of ownership. In men’s football you have your teams, club and country, which have been yours since childhood, you have no similar relationship to women’s football

      2) it’s not as good. You understand more so you can see the gap in quality. In athletics or swimming, the race is just 10% slower, but it’s essentially the same. Gymnastics and, to a lesser extent, tennis are different sports but women’s football is just a poorer copy. Even so, every now and then it can raise a smile https://www.fcbarcelona.com/en/videos/817654/amazing-goal-from-barbara-latorre Not everything is worse.

    • I’m not a fan, the skill level and pace is far below the male game. I’ll try to watch bits but it’s just not a great standard. It’ll grow slowly but I’m not sure it will ever rival the male game, it will always be slower.

      I like the pace of the male game, and I like the drama. Others don’t like the diving, arguing, I do. Each to their own. I love a good derby with all the incidents and passion of the men’s game. So far very few are as invested in their clubs. We see fans running on punching Grealhish, who gets up and scores the winner later on. I don’t know any club fans who also follow the women’s team of that club with any real passion. Maybe it will change but we’ve had a lot of variations with limited success.

      I’ve seen decent female football games but I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘did you see that?’ moment like you get watching Messi, Ronaldo or other top players.

      People say they prefer women’s football, but they don’t watch it. So there’s little advertising money and gate receipts.

    • There’s nothing subjective about it. Men’s football is faster, more skillful, more exciting, more aggressive and more competitive. Same as Rugby, Tennis, Golf and pretty much any sport going. Women’s sport is being falsely marketed as being comparable to mens sport but the reality is if they were to be played against each other there’s only going to be one winner and it won’t ever be the women.

      Whilst I’m on the subject, when women want the same prize money as the men’s events then let them compete against the men and play under the same conditions. 5 sets of champion’ship tennis, not 3, men’s tees on the golf course, not ladies tees. Anything less is unequal and the prize money should reflect that.

      • Yes but sports on TV etc aren’t really about who is best. They are entertainment. If women’s sport is as entertaining as men’s, it will have the same viewers and the same advertising. Tennis pretty much manages this. It sounds like for the OP (at least) women’s football doesn’t.

        I do watch squash because I understand the game and prefer the women’s game for this because it is possible to see what is going on. The men’s game is *so* fast that it is difficult to follow the tactics etc.

    • I would suggest that a big part of the lack of interest is the lack of history and therefore drama. Professional sports is more entertainment industry than anything. The men’s game has been around for decades and with that comes a huge history of previous encounters and events that all add to the intrigue. Think England vs Argentina for example and the infamous hand of god and Beckham’s sending off. Apart from geographical derbies the woman’s game hasn’t been main stream long enough for this kind of drama to have built up yet.

    • I remember being encouraged to watch the Women’s World Cup at the start of the decade and being appalled at the lack of quality in the play, like hungover Saturday morning football. Since then I’ll be the first to admit that the level has greatly improved. It really has. However, the standard of goalkeeping is lamentable such that it devalues any goal, not helped by the diminutive stature of many of the keepers.

    • I can appreciate it, but for me it lacks the drama but the history will maybe come.

      I was disappointed Man United took so long to develop a women’s team.

      It is good its on TV, but I saw an article by Piers Morgan (trying to be contentious as always), saying the US women should be paid as much or more than the men because they are more successful. A silly argument, plenty of male sports stars get paid for less than less successful stars in other sports. It’s about profile, players like Pogba get massive wages because they generate that income, even when they aren’t being successful.

      Unless the money is generated by the sport it seems a fast track to failed professional leagues. As has happened repeatedly in male and female soccer.

      • They had a team between 2001-05, having previously been an unofficial ‘supporters club’ (since the 70s!). It was disbanded by the new owners at the time as it was deemed to be away for the core business and was unprofitable. Ironically, these new owners were (and still are) American.. which seems strange given the strength of the women’s game in the states.