#WorldCup: women lace up their boots

The World Cup is without a doubt one of the most popular topics of conversation brought to us this early summer. But what attitude will women bear in regards to this traditionally masculine sport? The aufeminin.com website and its Womenology lab have led a survey with 782 respondents in France and in Germany. Here are the results! (1)

And 1,2,3…86% of women watch football

Contrarily to the macho tweets that one can read on Twitter, men are not the only people to like football. 86% of the women interviewed stated that they watch football matches on TV. If however for the majority, this practice proves only to be occasional (64%), 23% clearly affirm that they “love football and watch every match of the season”. German women prove to be especially passionate, with 26% of the respondents loving football, compared with only 17% of French women deeming the same commitment.



Nope, women don’t watch football for the hot players

According to the aufeminin/womenology survey, the stereotype that women only watch football to please the eye takes a hit, as they only represent 8% of women, whilst 38% assert that watching football is for “the game, the sport” with 41% of women appreciating football for “Its atmosphere (beer, friends…)”. There is further evidence of women’s enthusiasm towards the sport with 77% of women following football news and only 13% who claim to “hate the sport”. 44% of women even take regular trips to football stadiums in order to watch the matches. Once again German women overtake the French: with 42% of them who have travelled several times to the grounds, against only 34% of French women.

A woman who plays football is…NORMAL!

The number of prejudices against women playing football is undeniable; made evident by the ‘sexy World Cup calendar’ released in late 2013 on the web (2). However, the findings show that 62% of the respondents believe that a woman who plays regular or professional football is “normal, there’s no need to make a fuss over it”. Only 17% consider it “unusual” however, the same 17% also believe it be a “courageous” act. Attitudes change and 20% of the women surveyed said they play football already and “love it”. 77% of mums surveyed aspire to encourage their daughters to play at a football club, although 59% believe that this should be done at the request of their child. What’s more, for Nathalie Boy de la Tour (Executive Director of The Football Foundation), “French football has an extremely important social duty (…) it is an educational lever”.

Despite this, the visibility of these professional players is to be improved. 40% of the respondents claimed “to know that a Woman’s national team exists in their country” but admit “to have never watched any of their matches”. Audrey Keysers, an author on women’s football explains: “the opinion towards women’s football started to change since the successful World Cup in Germany in 2011 (the French finished in fourth position in the world). The public discovered that women’s football existed and that it was also executed to a very high level. However, they are condemned by the system and their exploits fail to be publicized, which is not the case for men.”(3)

Women signal the kick-off for the world cup

53% of women from the aufeminin/womenology survey want to “watch as many matches as possible”, making it a highly anticipated sporting event. With a slight nuance, 23% of respondents only claimed to be wrapped up in the World Cup excitement because their country was participating. On another note, 73% would strongly appreciate their country being the next host for the competition. Only 10% of respondents claimed to not like the World Cup.

C’mon the Blues!

“Even if the event has been slow to establish itself in the world of sport, it has triumphed undeniably; it has skillfully combined a fascination for performance, an investment in ones identity and the invention of a new market” writes historian Georges Vigarello (4). In fact, the feeling of national identity is resilient for other big sporting events. 76% of women affirm that they feel proud for their country at an event like the World Cup and 33% would be willing to travel to watch an important game. German women are particularly gripped by this tournament, with 52% of them organizing evenings at home to watch the matches with friends or family; whilst only 22% of French woman are dedicated to the same level.

Ultimately, only 11% of the women interviewed will not watch the World Cup matches; however we can find the others watching on their sofas (36%), in a bar for the atmosphere (21%), or even in the street in front of a giant screen (32%). What Nelson Mandela states is undeniable: “sport has the power to unite people in a rather unique way”.

Sources :
(1) Survey led on aufeminin.com with 782 respondents aged between 25 and 50 in France and Germany. Date: May 2014.
(2) http://vistavie.madmoizelle.com/diaporamas/coupe-du-monde-2014-calendrier-sexy/
(4) G. Vigarello Histoire du corps, tome 3, 2006 (History of the body, volume 3)

 maillot de foot

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