All the chest beating about promoting women’s sport in Australia after winning the rights to host the next women’s FIFA World Cup in 2023 now just looks like lip service after the latest slap in the face to the Matildas.
In one of the most shortsighted promotions dreamt up, the replica jerseys that the Matildas wear when representing the country overseas won’t be manufactured in women’s sizes.
Yep, you heard that right.
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Fans will of course be able to buy the men’s away jersey in every size imaginable — but not the women’s.
Even though superstar Sam Kerr has become an idol to millions of young Australian girls and her jerseys are the most popular selling football shirt in local sports stores.
If that’s not insulting enough, the lame response from the official Matildas’ social media account deserves a red card for being so hopelessly out of touch with the public support for one of Australia’s most loved national sporting team that have been smashing gender barriers for years.
And this at the same time Australia is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Olympics when our greatest female athletes were front and centre of the Opening Ceremony.
“Unfortunately, the new national teams away kit will not be available in women’s sizes. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and can assure supporters that this will be rectified for the next kit release due in 2022.”
The reaction on social media was a mixture of disbelief and anger.
Matildas midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight tweeted: “Ummmmm, this is a fairly significant problem” — adding an emoji of a see no evil monkey.
And her response was mild by comparison.
“Apologising for the inconvenience but not for the sexism? #notgoodenough” — one person tweeted.
Another posting said: “Wait, you can‘t fix this NOW?
Stuff you women, you have to wait until 2022!
That‘s not even in the suburb of good enough…..”
And another said: “this is utterly cooked, a slap in the face to female fans, and should be rectified ASAP not in 2022.”
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Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup after the FIFA Council voted in favour of the trans-Tasman bid over Colombia. (AAP Video)