Spain – England: The lesson of those we used to call “the farts” | Women’s Soccer World Cup 2023


“Rogelio! Deliver the match of the farts we have to close!” The party of the farts was the one for girls in the slang of the editor-in-chief of Brand of the early seventies, where I made my first happy weapons as a journalist. Don’t blame him. His way of expressing himself was not singular, but general.

At that time, the regrowth of women’s football was being experienced in Spain after a distant threat in the tens, the Spanish Girl’s Barcelona club that came to train the mythical Paco Bru. That was extinguished between comments like the one that could be read in The sports world on June 11, 1914: “To the descendants of mother Eva, soccer forces them to adopt as unsuitable as they are unsightly positions that eliminate feminine grace.”

In the seventies, that was reborn to individual impulses. In Madrid, by a heroic Rafael Muga; in Barcelona, ​​by a group of girls who interested Agustín Montal’s Barça, whom Ramallets came to train; in A Coruña, by the Karbo school… A little here and there initiatives were emerging that As, recently founded, and José María García, welcomed it with interest. Not so the president of the Federation, Pérez Payá: “I’m not against women’s football, but I don’t like it either. I don’t see it as very feminine from an aesthetic point of view. The woman in T-shirt and pants is not very favoured. Any regional costume would suit him better. However, a team was even created that debuted against Portugal in Murcia. Sánchez Ríos, a First Division referee, agreed to direct it, but the Federation opposed it. He ended up doing it, but dressed in a tracksuit.

It was a fight upriver with a figure, Conchi Amancio, who would sign as a professional for Italy. She played in five teams there, she managed to make some savings, but they vanished due to a ligament operation that she had to pay for herself, like her stay in the hospital. Later, she still played in England, where she came to train and graduated in Nutritional Therapy.

That attempt had to overcome two funny contras: a game of folkloric contra finolis, with Lola Flores and Encarnita Polo as their respective captains and Manolo Gómez Bur acting as a rowdy masseuse; and an infamous movie, Las Ibéricas FC, parade of massive from that time of the protodestape. The Women’s Section of Pilar Primo de Rivera warned all its delegations to oppose women’s soccer.

But the impulse continued. María Teresa Andreu, Barça goalkeeper when Ramallets trained them, managed, after an unprecedented trip to Madrid in 1980 (see The lightning trip that revived women’s footballin EL PAÍS on March 11, 2019) that Pablo Porta’s Federation opened a tiny gate to soccer played by women.

Very precarious, but there began to be a League from 88-89. It went through difficulties, it changed its name several times, but little by little things spread to the professional men’s clubs, which opened more or less official sections: the Basques, Levante, Barça, Atlético… A domino effect that swept everyone away. .

It was something even less, but it existed. And since 1988 there was also a selection, already supported by the Federation, although the coach was a somewhat troglodyte guy named Ignacio Quereda who lasted 17 years until Villar, in the face of indisputable evidence, replaced him with the current one, Jorge Vilda, son of a historical secondary of the benches, Ángel Vilda. Jorge Vilda had trained the sub-17 and sub-19.

Villar did not take much care of the football played by women, to put it mercifully. In fact, he was snatched by Javier Tebas, who moved him along with Jaume Roures and gave him visibility on Gol TV.

The great turnaround came with Rubiales, who since he arrived made an effort to recover for the Federation powers that Tebas had been acquiring due to the passivity of Villar. The League championship (Liga F is called) has been considered professional for a year and has fallen on the side of LaLiga, but as far as the national team is concerned, the task has been superb and explains what we are experiencing.

The budget has gone from three million to 27. In 2018 there was only one person responsible for the women’s team, diluted among the lower teams. Now there is a person in charge, Ana Álvarez, in charge of a team of seven people. It has gone from four active teams to six, by creating the sub-15 and sub-23 (one more than in the masculine, where there is no sub-23 category). The women’s team has its own field, gym and changing room, as well as state-of-the-art equipment with their names, not like before, which was used by the men’s team, without personalising. The team of technicians and analysts has multiplied. Before there were very few and they charged for days worked. Now there are three own analysts for each team, all with contracts, as well as the corresponding technicians. And two or three permanent physiotherapists also for each team. Girls are entitled to the same percentage of television revenue as men; although, obviously, the amount is not the same, since the rights of men’s soccer mount much more. Until 2018 the women’s team was seen in streamingnow all their parties are on some TVE channel.

They have gone from staying in double rooms to single rooms, their premiums and allowances have doubled, they are paid for image rights, all the teams have the same attention (doctor, cook, physios, props) as their male counterparts. And there is an Equality Observatory in charge of Elvira Andrés, vice president of the Federation.

The National Team has traveled to this World Cup with a doctor, four physios, a nutritionist, marketing, security, five from communication and three for travel. Each player has been provided with 15,000 euros for reconciliation, in case they wished to be accompanied by a family member; This has allowed the central Irene Paredes to take her son.

During this time, Spain has been the U-17 and U-20 world champion. The number of licenses has jumped from 40,000 licenses in 2018 to almost 100,000. And there is a fund called FUTURA for the players of the first three national categories and the first of FutSal, as savings for their retirement. Foreigners can take refuge from the third year.

Possibly, no team has traveled to the World Cup with such backing. A model work over seven years that explains, together with the quality of the players, their performance in this World Cup that has captivated the country.

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