·28 October 2022
·28 October 2022
In her exclusive column for GiveMeSport Women, England and Barcelona star Lucy Bronze discusses her role on the FIFPRO Global Player Council.
I’m really excited to be staying on the FIFPRO Global Player Council. I like how the organisation is committed to helping everyone, whether it’s those at the very top of football, or those who have little support and subsequently struggle to have a voice.
The Global Player Council is made up of male and female players from a wide range of countries, and this is really important as issues in football vary right around the world.
We’ll talk about issues which will impact my career directly, such as fixture congestion and the regularity of World Cups, but we’ll also discuss the bigger issues going on in women’s football right now.
This includes the ongoing dispute between the Spanish Football Federation and their national team players, and the NWSL sexual abuse scandal.
I’m fortunate in that these situations have not affected me directly, but the most important thing for me is that I help give a voice to players who otherwise wouldn’t have one. So I’m more than happy to put the smaller issues that impact me to one side and focus on the bigger picture.
I’ve been speaking to a number of my teammates at Barcelona who are involved in the dispute with the Spanish Football Federation.
It’s really sad to watch, particularly for Keira Walsh and I, who know how well-supported we are in England with the FA.
But no one in women’s football is perfect. The reason people voice their opinions is because they want to improve the game. They want to help.
In my opinion, the Spanish players are speaking up because they know they can be better as a team. They’re pushing because they want answers.
It’s clear how important it is to them – they’re putting a World Cup on the line! They’re putting their own egos and their careers to the side because there’s a bigger problem that needs fixing.
We’ve seen similar things in the past decade with the United States national team, and in the last five years with the Lionesses.
We’ve asked for better standards, and the bottom line is that the US are world champions, and England are the European champions. Demanding more does work.
I really hope there can be a resolution between the Spanish Football Federation and the players, as next year’s World Cup will be worse off without them. The biggest stage in football needs the best players in the world!
The NWSL sexual abuse scandal shows that the women’s football is still not as safe as it should be, and that players still aren’t comfortable enough to speak out.
The abuse that players in the NWSL have gone through is absolutely disgusting, and I can’t believe that anybody thinks it’s acceptable to do that in a workplace, or anywhere at all.
We need to create working environments where we can protect each other, and where players feel comfortable to speak out and demand better.
It was important for England’s players to show our solidarity with the US before our friendly against them earlier this month.
After winning Euro 2022, our voice has gotten even louder. We’re in a position to speak up and create change, and we wanted to repay the US for all the times they’ve stood up for female players around the world.
That’s one of the best things about women’s football right now. When there is a significant issue, we all come together and push for change.
The male players involved with the Global Player Council are brilliant at listening to their female counterparts, and are always willing to give us a voice.
It’s sad, but sometimes voices in men’s football can be louder than ours. So it’s nice when they choose to listen to our issues and back us instead.
Women’s football is a little bit behind men’s football in certain ways, but in other ways, we’re in the same place. There are definitely areas where we can share experiences and help each other.
Fixture congestion, for instance. Men have played more games for a lot longer than we have, and that’s something they’re struggling with now.
Women’s football doesn’t have as many matches, but we can now use our unified voice to make sure that no one is put at risk due to the number of games played. It’s much more effective to work together to ensure that football is a better place for everyone.
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