Why Women's Football is Better Than Men's
Contributor
Written by
Claire Bell
June 2016
Contributor
Written by
Claire Bell
June 2016

With Euro 2016 on a few days away, every man I know is getting far too excited over the prospect of watching yet another international men's football tournament (taking place just a few weeks after their domestic season has finished). But the Women's World Cup in 2015 didn't receive anywhere near as much attention, either in the press or down the local drinking establishments. 

It's fair to say that women's involvement in football still has some way to go to catch up with the men's game, but there is definitely change on the way. A report from the University of Leicester in 2015 reported that men in Britain would welcome more women into the sport as fans, coaches, board members and match officials, and that one in three (31%) of men now followed their club's women's team - likely down to the success of England in the 2015 Women's World Cup. 

When it comes to money however, the women are still a long way behind. The highest paid player in America (Alex Morgan) gets around £1.9m a year, while England captain Steph Houghton, the highest paid female player in the UK, gets £65k a year. Compare that to the £250,000 per week Wayne Rooney earns and you can see the marked difference (and that's just from his club wages, that doesn't take into account sponsorships or anything else, whereas the women's totals do). 

The same goes for the tournaments, the Women's World Cup saw $15m in prizes for the women, whereas the men's World Cup in 2014 saw $576m in prizes given out. The amounts spent on the men's tournament are also crazy, with Euro 2016 reported to have cost the French government over 2.5bn EUR to put on. 

But is there really that much of a difference between the men and women's game? The rules are the same, the pitches and balls are the same size, there's the same number of players and even the kits are the same (both internationally and domestically). I think the gender gap between the two sports needs to close further, and I actually think the women's game is superior, and here's why: 

1. The women players are far more likeable

It might not be a sport-related reason, but it's true. The men's game is full of overpaid, over-entitled spoiled teenagers and young men and very few of them are likeable, whereas the girl's come across as genuine role models and much nicer people. It's a generalisation, but one I stand behind. 

2. The game is more technical

The women's game is less reliant on pace and power and is far more technical, which personally I find far more enjoyable to watch. The skill level seems to be higher to me, and for football fans that can only be a good thing. 

3. There's less diving and more sportmanship (or sportswomanship)

The men's game is hugely cynical and full of diving premadonna's feigning injury every five minutes, or using any kind of contact as a reason to go down and waste time. The women show genuine sportsmanship and concern for their fellow players, and there's very little in the way of diving or time-wasting. 

4. It hasn't been tainted by the likes of FIFA and certain players

There are no major corruption scandals or rape accusations in the women's game. It feels innocent and untainted and more about the love of the sport rather than money and ego. Which leads me on to my next point:

5. There's less money in the women's game

Admittedly I did spend the introduction complaining about the gender pay gap in football, but the money is the men's game has become obscene, particularly with the likes of Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney earning more in a week than most of us will earn in a lifetime. In fact I read somewhere that Wayne Rooney makes in a day what the average worker in Britain makes in a whole year. 

6. There's more competition

Look at any league in the world and you'll find a handful of clubs that always win (Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, PSG in France, Bayern Munich in Germany, etc) and the international tournaments are the same, usually being split between the likes of Germany, Spain and Brazil. The women's game has far more competition, and that makes matches much more exciting.

So those are my reasons for thinking the women's game is better all-round, and deserves to be considered in the same way as the men's game. I'll still be enjoying Euro 2016, but I'm looking forward to the next major women's competition even more.  

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