Colors: Yellow Color

Prejudice towards women playing football is a “continuous issue across many regions of the world” and too many face adverse labour conditions, say world players’ union Fifpro.

In a released report, Fifpro found that “discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse” are major issue.

The union also surveyed 186 players from the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Of those, more than half said that they are not enough support staff at clubs.

The union called for the introduction of global standards for players as they say adverse labour conditions “still plagues the women’s game.

Of the 186 elite women players questioned in the survey, 51% said that there were not enough staff at their club to fulfil their playing needs. 41% said they do not receive health insurance from their club, while only 3% received help to relocate after a transfer and 17% said that they received no non-financial benefits from their clubs.

A spokesperson for Women in Football said: “We regularly support women who face discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

“The significant increase in the number of sexist reports received by us is of concern, but sadly not a great surprise.

“What is clear is that this is just the tip of the iceberg: for every offensive tweet or comment posted and reported to us, there are dozens that are not. And we know from our 2016 research, that women who experience sexism at work rarely report it – just 1 in 10 according to our landmark industry survey”.

Despite the ‘high’ of a survey which showed that more people were exercising, the situation is at a ‘low’ as it is said that many in lower socio-economic groups are less likely to be active.

The Sport England Active Lives Survey of 181,535, in the 12 months to November 2019, found that 28.6 million in England met the chief medical officer’s recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week, which is an increase of 404,600 people on the previous 12 months.

That does, however, ‘fly in the face’ of Sport England – the governing body which funds grassroots sport – who reported a significant decline in the levels of activities being carried out – especially those between the ages of 16 and 34.

11.1m adults in England are inactive; with the country’s low socio-economic group some affluent groups.

Now, in addition, with the Covid-19 pandemic taking its global grip, there is fears that the trend for sporting inactivity may grow, with sporting bodies, including those sending athletes to the Olympic Games, in Tokyo, are fearing that they could go under.

Several governing bodies have said that they are facing a heavy financial crisis to the extent of having to cancel events; with financial implications that may well be irreversible.

A spokesperson for UK Sports said: “The current situation, which has caused the cancellation of the sporting calendar for the foreseeable future, has created a significant financial challenge for major sporting bodies.

“We are making sure that we do everything within our powers to support all sporting, at all levels, where possible.

 

 

Premier League side, Manchester United have said that they have received permission to install 1,500 barrier seats – standing with rails – at their Old Trafford stadium as a trial measure.

The club says that they will be installing the new section in the north-east quadrant for the 2020-23 season after receiving approval from Trafford Council.

If the trial proves to be successful, the club says that it will look to install barrier seats in other areas of the stadium.

Standing at grounds in England’s top two divisions is banned although clubs have ;looked to find a ‘middle-ground’, with Wolverhampton Wanderers installing rail seats at their Molineux stadium last year.

A statement from Old Trafford said; “United will now discuss installation options with potential supplier, working within current government recommendations relating to construction site operating procedures and social distancing”.

Manchester United has struggled to deal with the problem of persistent standing at the ground for a number of years.

 

Finishing the season in a 40-day window was one of the scenarios discussed at a Premier League meeting.

Top-flight clubs remain committed to playing all 92 remaining fixtures this season but did not discuss a deadline by which action must resume. Clubs were expected to debate a 30 June deadline to end the season but instead discussed "possible scheduling models".

Meanwhile, the Women's Super League (WSL) season could be completed over a six-week period, with the 45 games left played behind closed doors at one central base. St George's Park, the Football Association's national football centre, is understood to be under consideration to host teams and matches.

No WSL fixtures have been played since February 23, with the suspension of elite football across England coming after a two-week international break for the SheBelieves Cup and the Women's League Cup final.

With the Premier League (PL) being suspended since March 13, because of coronavirus, they say that it "remains our objective" to complete matches but currently "all dates are tentative".

It is understood some clubs expected to discuss the proposed 30 June deadline at Friday's meeting but it was decided this was not the right time to do so.

A Premier League spokesperson said: "In common with other businesses and industries" clubs were "working through complex planning scenarios.

It remains our objective to complete the 2019-20 season, but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of Covid-19 develops."

Sixteen of the 20 Premier League teams have nine games to play, with four having 10 left.
The Premier League earlier said play will only resume when "it is safe and appropriate to do so". 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden spoke to PL bosses and signalled the government was content for them to start contingency planning.

In a section on player welfare at the meeting, it was decided tests for coronavirus would have to be widely available to the public before the widespread testing of players.

When and how football resumes has been widely debated across the sport as clubs face up to financial difficulties and the logistical issues caused by a late finish to the season.

If the season is extended beyond that date there is a possibility clubs will lose players before fixtures are concluded.

Lower down the football pyramid in England, the EFL has sent a letter to clubs recommending they return to training on May 16 at the earliest. The EFL has not discussed a league restart date with the government but told clubs: "Our planning needs to be agile enough to allow us to be as prepared as possible for a start at relatively short notice."

The remaining options for this campaign were outlined to WSL clubs during a conference call, including the possibility of having to void the season with the n FA spokesperson saying: "We are in the early stages of assessing what options are available for when it is safe and appropriate to resume the FA WSL and FA WC seasons.
"This includes the potential use of neutral venues.

The FA is understood to want the top women's divisions next steps to be in line with any decisions made by the Premier League, as well as following guidance from European football's governing body UEFA, with the top two WSL teams set to qualify for the Women's Champions League.

That means there could yet be some flexibility around the proposed restart start in June, but nevertheless the WSL is understood to have two main options remaining as the most likely.

Tiers three to seven of the women's pyramid in England were formally declared null and void after that decision was ratified on 9 April and the top two tiers could follow suit depending on the health advice given.

The chief doctor of football’s world governing body, FIFA, has warned against any restart of football after the worldwide interruption of the 2019-20 season and have suggested that preparation for any sort of action to be made for next season instead.

With some professional clubs returning with restarting training – although player5s do so in isolation from each other - Michel d’Hooghe said: “As a doctor, I would be very sceptical about continuing any of the leagues amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The chair of FIFA’s medical committee said: “My proposal is that if it is possible, avoid playing football in the foreseeable weeks.

“Try to be prepared for the start of good competition next season”.

The English Football Association (FA) has launched an advisory group to study why anterior cruciate ligament injuries are more prevalent in women’s football.

Women players are 8-times more likely to injure their ACLs than men.

During this season, 12 players in the top two divisions in the women’s game – the WSL (Women’s Super League) and the Woman’s Championship – have suffered with the serious knee injury during this season with the FA saying that the results will be “carefully assessed”.

An FA spokesperson said that the results from the Female Athletics Scientific Advisory Group will be carefully assessed over time.

The spokesperson said: “The audit, already in its early stages, will be carried out by a group of experts from institutes involved in producing results in women’s athletics and football.

“Then, we will be able to assess any particular injuries – including ACLs.

“We will then be able to analyse rates of injuries in comparison to previous audits in men’s and women’s football, as well as in other sports.

A programme of ACL strategies - set up by the FA - is already in place, where experts deliver contents on the prevention, and rehabilitation from, to club medics.

Manchester City defender, Aoife Mannion, is one of the WSL players to suffer the potential career-ending knee injury and, after undergoing surgery, will be on the side-lines for a lengthy period.

Fellow WSL club, Bristol City, is undergoing research into the possible relation of the menstrual-cycle in ACL injury prevention.