As a person who comes from a relatively male dominated culture (keeping in mind that I’m also open minded), I have (or better say had) my Middle Eastern way of thinking when it comes to women’s football. Not that I had issues that women play football, on the contrary, I think it’s a very positive thing, but I thought that women’s football is not as competitive as men’s football
I recall the times when mentioning “Women’s Football” would be childishly visualized by my brain as girls/women chasing each other, trying to possess the ball and score goals while pulling each others’ hair. (don’t start to hate me now and continue to read the whole post!)
When I came to Sweden, I was surprised about the fact that most of the girls I asked about the kinds of sports they like and/or play would answer saying “football”. I was even more fascinated that guys didn’t express the same interest in playing football (compared to hockey for example) as girls did! Looking at how well the Swedish women’s football team has performed in international competitions, I started to see things from a different perspective. Although I did that, I still remained a bit skeptical and up to that point, I hadn’t really seen one single full time women’s football match.
The biggest turn happened when a colleague of mine asked me to watch an international friendly between Sweden and Brazil together with the rest of her team mates (football team mates!) live at the stadium and that is when I realized I was totally wrong to be skeptical.
I was taken by the amount of public who attended, the support they gave, their engagement and most of all how competitive, speedy and enjoyable women’s football is . I don’t recall how many times I mentioned to my colleague and her mates “Oh, this is great!”
Thanks Sweden and the Swedish national team for changing my attitude! 🙂