Gender disparity in sport can be seen in most of its areas. Talking about football, this gap is even more outstanding for being the most consumed and widespread sport.
Women's professional football is quickly evolving and rising as a strong and viable industry. The conditions in which footballers train and compete must promote their physical and mental well-being, boost their skills and protect their integrity.
In 2018, FIFPRO published the report "Raising Our Game", based on surveys of professional women players, highlighting the following results:
- 87% end their sports career before the age of 25, due to low or no remuneration.
- 3.6% of the sample of players included in the survey do not receive a salary, still competing in the FIFA Women’s World Cups and playing at the top level of their sport.
- 77.7% of those surveyed in the report say that their club does not have a clear planning strategy.
- 54% stated that the staff of the club is insufficient: there are not enough support staff to meet their needs as footballers.
"Nowadays, men’s football is paid; women’s football costs money. It should be paid and is going to be paid" said Fatma Samoura, FIFA General Secretary, assuring her concern about investing in women’s sport.
Women’s football in growth
However, in 2020, FIFPRO reports show how this gap is narrowing, and women’s football is becoming an increasingly equitable sport.
- The number of active clubs in international transfers ascended from 276 to 349, an increase of 26.4%.
- 1035 international transfers were recorded, an increase of 23.7% over 2019.
- The attendance of spectators to the matches in european teams in 2019 (Due to pandemic in 2020 there was no crowd in stadiums) grew by 71.8% compared to 5 years ago.
Women’s football and a technological leap fordward
For this growth to continue, women 's football must follow the path of professionalization. The use of performance measuring devices is a step that is more than obvious. Not only for athletic aspects, but to make a difference in football aspects and raise the quality bar, something that makes this sport much more entertaining to consume.
The commitment that is deposited in the physical preparation and in training sessions is one of the most important factors to be able to strengthen the game, the great modern complement when planning and reducing injuries are the GPS trackers.
Measurement technology is gaining ground in women’s football by leaps and bounds, in order to access key information of each player' s performance. Something that is extremely important also for the coach and the technical staff, to know when the player is well trained, needs more load to improve, or less to avoid injuries, and at the same time plan training according to each need.
OLIVER: Technologhy designed with a gender perspective
- Placed on the leg for more comfort:
The GPS tracker is placed inside the calf-sleeve, unlike vests designed for men that are even more uncomfortable to women, and many times require the use of a double sport bra.
Another benefit given by the placement of the OLIVER’s GPS tracker in the leg, is that it allows to measure ball interactions, providing metrics such as ball kicks, kick power and ball possession.
Nayadet Lopez, player of Santa Teresa de Bajadoz, team that uses OLIVER to measure its performance, explains the benefits of the device:
"Vests are designed for men’s football, after all we never have to differentiate by gender".
"The tracker is placed inside the calf sleeve and does not require any extra elements which we are not used to wear during the game. The ease and comfort of use of OLIVER is a great advantage".
Women’s football represents one of the most significant areas of potential growth for professional football. It is full of opportunities and paths waiting to be exploited, so nowadays, the change in the consumption dynamics, competition and investment will be those that end up driving the definitively growth of this sport.
More info: www.tryoliver.com
FIFPRO 2020 “Raising Our Game”: IWomen´s football report.