by Roger Le Grove Rogers
Women's Soccer World January/February
1997, Volume 1 Number1 Commentary
The "English Disease"
By Roger Rogers
Last year when talking with some English players and coaches I asked the question, "Why did the English F.A. appoint a man as coach of the national women's team when they had at least one highly qualified woman coach with a top F.A. license available?" Nobody knew and apparently no woman coach had been approached by the F.A. It seems that not only had the English F.A. taken over the women's game but they had moved its progress back a few years by insisting on playing the outdated long ball style that has been taught by F.A. trained coaches over the years as a "statistically proven direct football method."
It has of course been a source of
embarrassment and failure for the men's national team in recent years. The failure,
for the first time ever, of the English Women's National Team to reach the eight
team final competition of the European Championships by losing to Spain means
that they will not have an international competitive fixture until September
Unfortunately there has always been
a poor attitude by many Englishmen toward women's sports and soccer in particular.
It exists at all levels but particularly may be found in the upper echelons
including the ruling body of the English F.A who threw women out of their organization
for 50 years. The "diseaseî may even be carried by displaced Englishmen
around the world, some of whom have been sighted in the political machinations
of the United States soccer scene. It has a distinct similarity to "mad
cow diseaseî in that it is caused by years of ingesting contaminated material.
In this case they have been fed the idea that only men can play and teach football
because of their physical and mental superiority over women.
Fortunately there are many men nowadays in England involved as coaches, administrators and supporters at club and local levels who are trying to help the women's game and are teaching innovative and progressive soccer. Some of them have expressed dismay at the current English Women's National Team situation.
In England the Football Association have yet to produce the real financial and moral support or managing opportunities offered to the women's game in Europe and the United States, which will inevitably deny the immensely talented and skilful English women presently playing the opportunity to compete at a world class level in the future.
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