With the women’s FA Cup Final taking place tomorrow aftertoon, and being broadcast by BBC One from Wembley Stadium for the fourth year in a row, it’s clear that female football has come a long way. But with many people still unaware of the match, and not invested in women’s competitions, it seems they’re not quite as equal as their male’s counterparts.
WNOL spoke to the University of Westminster male football captain, Bryan Ijeh, about what needs to be done to improve coverage of women’s football matches.
“I think that footballing authorities have not been giving enough support to the women’s game. The lack of media coverage has made the women’s game less attractive to invest in as a sponsor, which is unlike the men’s game who have huge T.V and media deals in place.”
The BBC cover most of the women’s game, including the FA Cup and the World Cup, which is taking place in France this June.
“If there is a proper effort made to put forth women’s football just as much as it is done with the men’s game it will certainly increase its following. If they are portrayed in the same manner with endorsement deals and publicity, people should automatically take more of an interest” Ijeh says.
More and more female players are becoming household names, such as Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton MBE, who captains Manchester City and is playing in tomorrow afternoon’s final. But they are far from the likes of Kane, Sterling, and Alli, who everyone knows by their surname.
The 2015 women’s World Cup was a big success in putting women’s football on the map, with many Brits watching England’s matches in Canada four years ago. And with a record number of spectators expected to watch the FA Cup Final on Saturday, the interest seems to be on the rise.
“The seeds are being planted and now it is crucial that the footballing authorities and all those involved keep pushing for more equality in the sport”, Ijeh explains.