FIFA caught up in sexism row before Women’s World Cup after inviting only male players to take part in daily training sessions

FIFA have become embroiled in a sexism row on the eve of the World Cup after female players were not part of a pre-competition training camp for the tournament’s referees.


Emails from FIFA’s Refereeing Division to clubs in Sydney asked for ‘male players aged 15 plus’ to attend a series of training sessions for World Cup match officials at Sydney’s Olympic Park.


The daily sessions for FIFA’s refereeing delegation began last Sunday and are due to continue until 20 August, the day of the World Cup final.


According to Mail Sport, at least one Sydney-based club sent their women’s team to the Olympic Park earlier this week offering to help out and the players were virtually ignored by FIFA officials, eventually leaving without being given the opportunity to play.

‘Only FIFA would ask for male only players to help prepare referees for a women’s World Cup,’ a source told Mail Sport.

‘Our team went down and they only picked men or boys to start the matches. The women were told to wait and be substitutes. After two hours of hanging around they left as they were sick of being ignored.’


The email sent to clubs states that ‘FIFA requires male players who are 15+ years and of a good football skill level to be used for daily training activities,’ but does not give any reason for this apparent discrimination.


FIFA asked for around 50 players per-day and offered around £25 for each player in payment for taking part in the two-and-a-half hour session.

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