The shocked and late history between women and the World Cup

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The image of Brandi Chastain rejoicing in a black bra after her converted goal throw that offers the world title in the United States in 1999 against China pushes women's football into "one" of the US magazine "Sports Illustrated" and It is etched in eternity. Robert Beck / Sports Illustrated / Getty Images

It was created by men and imagined for men. The Football World Cup took sixty-one years to open up to women. The infinite time that separates the pioneers Count-Green in Uruguay in 1930 and their distant heirs. Who had the advantage of flying to China in 1991.

In women's football, the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) had several late trains. The idea of ​​a female world took decades to touch the minds of its members. "Football and rugby are the two sports with masculine connotations in which the leaders will fry the practice of four-handed women, while basketball was a sport already feminized since the 30s, notes Laurence Prudhomme-Poncet, author of the book History of women's football in XXis century (L & # 39; Harmattan, 2003, 296 pages).

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The history of the Women's World Cup is made up of false departures, surrogates and pending. At the margins of international forums, tournaments flourish with the apparent shape of a World Cup, but without the official stamp. In the summer of 1970, Italy organized its own world Cup. Eight teams participate (seven European and Mexico selections) in a tournament organized by the International Independent Women's Football Federation. Behind this FIIF, there are businessmen from northern Italy and in particular from the Martini-Rossi group. The cocktail meets its small success. On June 15, the Danes won the final against the Italians (2-0) in front of 40,000 people at the Stadio Comunale di Torino.

Short pants and shorts for men

In 1971, this "underground" World Cup sets sail for Mexico. France is the trip this time, or rather the team of Reims, cradle of the growth of French women's football a few years earlier. "There were only four or five non-Reem players I was in. At the time they were the strongest, tells the Rouennaise Armelle Binard. The blue finish 5is a tournament won again by the Danes (3-0 against Mexico in the final), ahead of 110,000 spectators at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City.

If the commercial and public success of the Italian edition is again verified, the organization also sells a certain image of the woman to its audience. "We will really focus on the female side", warns its president, Jaime De Hargo, for whom men have two passions in life: "Women and soccer". Players wear shiny, multicolored high shorts and shorter shorts closer to the skirt. In 2004, FIFA president Sepp Blatter did not evolve radically when he suggested the idea «Still shorts» to attract more sponsors.

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