Sunday, July 17, 2011

Still don't think there's a difference ...

So today, France fell to Sweden 2:1 in the 3rd place match (report .pdf). This was a fun match to watch and the US crew did a fine job. More on that aspect later.

There was a comment on the match that really struck me from Bruno Bini, the coach of France.
"At one point, the spectators starting behaving as if this were a men's match,'' Bini said through a translator. "We had boos and whistles for Sonia. It's unbelievable. She really didn't deserve that. The spectators behaved like this was a men's game, and I don't like this type of football. This destabilized the whole team."
I personally have been lambasted in the past for even suggesting there are differences between the men's and women's games. Well, Bruno did the talking and not me. Let me just say that I agree with the larger point that the fans are different, the athletes are different, the game is played differently, and yes, the refereeing is different. That one I have seen first hand from a few years of refereeing experience in WUSA while working in MLS.

What is fundamentally the same regardless of gender, is the love they all have for the game, and the respect they deserve for participating.

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