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Daphne Bramham: Finding a place for women in the sports arena

In a teaser video released Friday, we see actor Frank Dillane, who plays ‘Nick,’ running very fast while looking very scared. We are going to guess there is a zombie or two chasing him.

Soccer already is the world’s most watched and most played game. And, as American coach Jill Ellis noted before Tuesday night’s match with Nigeria, it’s a sport where even small, poor countries have a chance.

But it’s a huge challenge because the hurdle has never been sport itself. What holds women’s sports back are the same complicated issues they face every day about “a woman’s place,” female beauty and even gender identity.

Because if competence alone were the criterion, Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva would be celebrated in her soccer-mad homeland. But FIFA’s player of the year for an unprecedented five times isn’t.

If she’s talked about at all, Marta (who’s almost always referred to only by her first name) is often derisively referred to as Pele with a skirt. In Brazil, soccer is a man’s game.

 

 

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