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  • Helz

Pick the Right Battles...

And just like that the Women’s World Cup 2023 is over. I usually take a day or so to process it all after England play and, well… we’ll get to that.

What I want to start with is who is still letting Gianni Infantino write his own speeches!? Who? Like, I need to know. Clearly he is inept when it comes to oracy or his beliefs are so antiquated it’s embarrassing that he feels so comfortable in sharing them aloud, as though they were a rousing battle cry to women. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, basically in an address to the World Cup Congress before the final games of the tournament, Gianni rocked up to tell women that they should “pick the right battles” and basically that equal pay was the wrong battle for them and they have the power to convince men to change things for them. I’m laughing as I type this because it’s just so fucking ridiculous. He said: “I say to all the women, that you have the power to change. Pick the right battles. Pick the right fights. You have the power to change. You have the power to convince us men what we have to do and what we don't have to do. You do it. Just do it. With men, with FIFA, you will find open doors. Just push the doors. They are open. And do it also at national level, in every country, at continental level, in every confederation. Just keep pushing, keep the momentum, keep dreaming, and let's really go for a full equality.”

After such an incredible tournament, my man is just tone deaf. It’s clear if the head of an organisation holds such sexist ideals then it’s highly unlikely things are going to change and if they do it’s not going to be at his hand, that’s for certain. I saw Lucy Bronze skip him like a snakey Ref when it came to shaking his hand and I respect that. One of my mates said “Did she air him? That’s giving big Scorpio energy that…” I’m not even into astrology and it was definitely a dig at me but had to laugh because yes I am a scorpio and yes I would 100% have done the same. (After a quick google, apparently LB is a scorpio too so maybe my friend was right with the scorpio energy comment). It’s not even about the star sign, it’s about integrity and not being a hypocrite. How can you be fighting the fight for equality in football and then shake the hand of a dude who has verbally shit on all you’ve been fighting for?

Okay so, England vs Spain. To say I’m disappointed in the outcome is an understatement. Bereft is probably a more accurate observation. When Hempo hit the crossbar I thought we were gaining momentum, then Spain scored. Then the penalty that Meraps exquisitely saved but, we still fell short.

I’m happy for Spain. Anyone who knows me knows my La Liga team is Barca and a gang of Barca players make up the Spain national team so I can’t hate on them, they played really well. Considering the whole dispute with the Spanish Football Federation, Jorge Vilda and everything that has been going on behind the scenes, despite those things they played an amazing tournament. However, I’m still heartbroken for England. I wanted England to win and honestly thought it was going to happen. Second half, my mates I was watching it with and even my Mum commented that I was very calm considering we were one down and I was, because I honestly thought we were going to get one back.

And just when I thought my heart couldn’t break any more, I see Mary Earps and Lucy Bronze crying. Mary Earps for me was the player of the tournament. She came with 110% every game. She understood the assignment and she played her role to the fullest so seeing her cry hurt because she can honestly say there was nothing else she could have done. Can we get her jersey on the shelves now please!? Then there’s LB… If I wanted anyone to lift that trophy it was Lucy Bronze. I wanted her to complete football. It’s not her first WC rodeo but it could potentially be her last, so to see her break down (again!) not only broke me but put it in perspective, I was more heartbroken for the girls than myself. It’s sad to see them upset at the end of a well fought tournament but they should be so fucking proud of themselves. They overcame all the obstacles thrown in their path and just got on with it. There are so many kids around the country, around the world who they have inspired. And I’m not just saying inspired to play football, inspired to do whatever the fuck they want to do even when the powers that be are telling you to “pick the right fights”. I absolutely love this team. I’ve followed the Lionesses for a very long time and this particular group of women are special. Once the dust settles and the heartbreak is a bit less I hope they realise the impact they’ve had and continue to have with or without a World Cup trophy.

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