Another football is bornApril 14, 2019
The referee announces the end of the game and journalists invade the field. There are only three: a photographer of this newspaper, one of the club and this chronicler. Boca girls are happy, they won 6 to 0 at San Lorenzo and renew their credentials as candidates for the title. From the stands descend applause and chants. There is a faction of the fans that brought bass drums, trumpets and shredded paper to the grounds of Boca Juniors in Ezeiza. But suddenly, when everything looks like a celebration, a football loot cuts the air and crashes into the bench. For a second or two people stop as if something serious had happened. And then, a second booty crashes against the same bank of substitutes. It is hardly a reaction, the anger over defeat, but the roar it generates draws everyone's attention. In this case, however, it lasts only a few seconds and the celebrations and laments continue, all on the same court. But further on, in the plane of history, the rumble continues. It goes down like a river, it's just a matter of adjusting the senses. Is heard?
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I will always remember the wasteland in front of my house, in Marcos Juárez, Córdoba. It was the best place where I played, the best little field of my childhood. I was 5 or 6 years old and I was always surrounded by men, with cousins, brothers, friends. All my childhood was the same way, playing with them. Today I am 32 years old. My name is Eliana Medina and I'm 10 in San Lorenzo.
I always knew that I wanted to get to AFA, as a girl. I had it as my goal, to get to Primera football. When I was 14 years old, I had the opportunity to join a team from Córdoba, who was going to play a friendly against Independiente. I played the game and the people from Independiente asked me if I wanted to play there. That's how it was: in 2002 I arrived at the club, I was two years old and then I went to San Lorenzo. I've been here since then, I've been around for 15 years.
I always had to work apart from playing. It is something necessary to survive. I work in the morning at the club, at the headquarters of Avenida La Plata, and in the afternoon with the fifth and fourth girls of Futsal, as a coach. I also spent a few years with the little school. Working on what I like with the girls, which are going to be the future of women's football in the club, is something very nice for me.
I'm happy with the professionalization. I did not think I was going to live to see it. Much less that I was going to be active when it happened. It's my turn at the end of my career, but even if it's only a short time, I'll enjoy it. Not only for me, but also for my younger companions, who are the future; you have to work with them and for them. They are the ones that will remain and make great the feminine soccer in our country.
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to professionalization. "
Before, he invites two players to sit at the table with him and the rest of those present to accompany him on the stage. There are of all the clubs, formed behind him for the photo. More, less, says: "It is a deep emotion and a huge joy to announce that the next women's soccer tournament will be professional". And there it is, suddenly, the moment when history breaks down. It happens on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at the AFA premises in Ezeiza. The agreement is signed by Claudio "Chiqui" Tapia. Fair or not, it will be his name that accompanies this page of history. But hundreds of other names inhabit his. With one difference: they are all women's names.
, exfutbolista and author of the book
Campeonas, a century of women's soccer in Argentina (which will be published in June by Paidós), those women's names begin in 1920. "The professionalization process followed closely." When Chiqui Tapia announces it at the press conference, he takes charge of the achievement as the main protagonist. , but if you look at the course of the struggle of the women soccer players, you realize that it is a collective struggle not only of the girls now, but also of those who have played football since the 1920s and who have been trying In women's football there is a tradition of struggle, which is what leads to all this happening.The idea of my book is to tell the underground stories that were invisible for so long, counteracting the idea a bit. installed that women's football is a fashion, "he says.
How will professionalization be? Slowly. For the time being, they must register in the next two months between eight and eleven contracts for an amount commensurate with what a player of the First C receives. The duration should be between 1 and 5 years. The AFA will contribute 120,000 pesos per month to each of the 16 clubs in the tournament to finance the contracts.
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Macarena Sánchez Jeanney
my name is. I am 27 years old. The first note I made was the day I made the complaint public. It was a Monday, January 21. That night they called me from a radio. The next day they were with cameras in my house.
It all emerged from my dismissal in the middle of the tournament. It was on January 5 and the complaint was made on the 18th. We presented a letter document intimando to the UAI (Open University Interamericana) to regularize the employment relationship, as in any job, because my job there was that of soccer (for the team of UAI Urquiza).
What happened with me happens in several clubs: they put you to work in some company that depends on the club or in the club itself (some girls work in the bufet, for example), and in that place they register you as an employee. But in real work, which is that of footballer, no. I worked as an administrator from 8 to 2 in the afternoon, and then I trained. And one day they called me and told me that they would not take me into account anymore.
, among them. I wanted to know what we needed and to know the reality of women's soccer beyond San Lorenzo. He gave us a hand to bring a proposal of professionalization to AFA. And so it was, everything very fast. From the denunciation until the professionalization was announced, less than two months passed. But it is something that has been asking for a while.
And although I arrived at a time when I do not play, I live it as if I were with a club. For me it is the same emotion because from the beginning this was a collective struggle. It was beyond my case. If it were only for me, I would not have done anything, because I went through a lot of things that I do not want anyone. I ate a lot of shit these two months. Then, if I had stopped to think about my well-being, I would not have done it.
What things? For starters, I'm with an anti-panic button because I received threats. From the moment I made the complaint I received a lot of harassment in social networks. People x that assaulted me. Puteadas … And one day I received a first threat. It was a Saturday at noon. I was in San Lorenzo watching a women's football game. And when the match ended, I entered my Twitter and had a private message that said they were going to kill me. The user had a picture of a gun with blood. And it shocked me. The first thing I did was send it to my sister, who is my lawyer. And we decided to initiate a complaint for the threat. And then I received another one, also on Twitter, which said that if I continued to report something would happen to me by accident. So I notified him and they gave me the panic button. The first days I did not want to leave my house, I was repelled. The next day my mom came, then my sister, then my dad. I was always accompanied, but I had many nerves.
But it was worth it. The professionalization was in my mind like that the girls were going to live later, at some point. I did not think I was going to live it. But from the mobilizations of the last month I did start to see it possible. Also, in the feminist context that we live today I believe that everything is possible. You can not split one thing from the other. This is a claim that has been made for many years. The Pioneers lost positions in the national team and in clubs for asking for these things. And at that moment the context did not accompany and the social pressure was not what it is today. I saw thousands of women who even hate football because they are from a macho environment that, however, joined and claimed for us as if they were one more player. The feminist movement was indispensable in all this.
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The bass drum and the trumpet continue playing at the Boca Juniors venue. Boys and girls take fernet with Coca. Sing: "Gentlemen I leave everything / I'm going to see Boca / because the players / they are going to show me / that they come out to win / they want to be champion / they have it inside / how I wear it". Each time they repeat the chorus the head of this chronicler is surprised with the same part: because the players. It should not surprise: the players are those who have just won 6 to 0 in an uneven and intense match. They say that for something to become habit you have to repeat it between 21 and 66 days. I listen to the song, throughout the game, about fifteen times, and I will go repeating it, to see if once the surprise is exhausted I can adopt the naturalness. No hurry, anyway, 66 days arrive soon.
The girls and boys who sing are from the rock Los Xeneizes de La Plata. "We started to follow Las Gladiadoras (Boca's women's team) in 2017, when we formed an area within the peña called the Women's Secretariat, which was to promote more girls participating and one of the things that occurred to us. it was to continue the campaign of the Gladiators to broaden the concept of what Boca is, and not only to reduce it to men's football, "says Florencia, one of the leaders of the deconstructed bar.
"We have to start learning," adds David, as he unties a flag. "They are very new things, because of how we lived it, when they created the Secretariat we had to learn to behave because there were many things that were wrong," he says.
The idea of football as a trigger for social changes is recurrent in our country. There are countless programs that seek to get kids out of the street through sports. There are also those who seek to rescue girls through football, but are often less known. Moni Santino is an ex-player and current coach of La Nuestra Feminist Football of Villa 31 de Retiro. He has been working in the neighborhood for 12 years. Together with a women's coaching staff, she exclusively coordinates the team's training and then leads a workshop in which the conflicts that arise on the court are discussed and deconstructing the way of seeing the world of girls. "For a girl in the neighborhood is to run from domestic chores, which are always assigned to women, caring for others, and be able to exercise their right to play and have a leisure time," he says. They train twice a week, two hours each day. For her, soccer is a path to empowerment. He dreams of creating a club, replicating the program in other neighborhoods of the city, and seeing how one of his directors becomes a DT. "I want to start talking about women's football as a serious sport and not as a note of color, but the conquest is not just about high-performance sport but also about social sports. , Explain.
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Camila Gómez Ares
. I am 24 years old and I play in Boca. I always admired Gago, but my idol is Formiga, a Brazilian player who is going to play her sixth world cup this year. That is my dream: to play a world cup. I started playing football at 5 years old, more or less. At first I played with my brother, who is bigger than me. We played in the neighborhood club.
I remember my first game. It was not for the points, I was going to enter just a few minutes to feel that I had debuted. And when I entered, the coach of the other team withdrew the players. He took them out of the court because a girl came in. I would be 6 years old, I hardly remember it, really, but my old woman tells me what she is. I entered when there were only five minutes left. Five minutes. And when the coach retired the team were all bewildered, then I came back out. Just then the other players came back in and followed the game. It was the technician who did it. The guys sure did not understand anything.
So I had several situations. One year I played in a children's soccer tournament in Vicente López, organized by the Municipality. They did not want me to play, but my old men campaigned and gathered signatures from club coaches and tournament members to let me play. So I played, but the following year they changed the regulation and they said it was only for men so that I could not present myself again. And I'm not that I did not know how to play, huh. I played below. It was stubborn and it beat a lot. They tell me that it was the best of the team. It was renamed, even, so it was not a matter of competitiveness.
I did not like to get together with my friends at school to play with the Barbies. I wanted to go with my soccer buddies to play a tournament. 'Men's things', let's say. For me they are not, but it is what society imposes on you. Obvious that it would have been better to play ball with my friends, but they did not want to, and at school in physical education they would not let me play soccer. My old left an authorization taking charge in case something happened to me or whatever, but there was no case.
At 14 I arrived at River. It was something else from then on. He changed the training regime, everything. And that same year they called me for the Sub 17 Team. It was all very fast, I did not get to realize everything that was happening to me. I debuted in the National Team in 2010, in Brazil, in the South American. I was 15 years old. I played 5, my position, the same as Gago and Formiga. We played with Chile that first game. He paid all the Conmebol. And it was my old ones too, but for their part, because they wanted to see me. I remember the emotion when I saw the Argentine shirt with my last name stamped, I remember when I heard the anthem. It was incredible.
Over time I changed clubs. I went to the UAI for a while, then I went back to River and finally to Boca. It's the club I'm a fan of. I play with the 8 in the back. It happens to me often to go out with friends and when I talk to men and they ask me what I do, I tell them that I play in Boca and they do not believe me. Never. Then I have to open my social networks and show them. Now I show you the photos of the time I played at La Bombonera. And there they are left with their mouths open in surprise. It is still something that they see as a strange thing.
I do not work because I live with my old people, but most of my colleagues have to work. In Boca we are paying 5 thousand pesos for now. It is in terms of travel expenses. There are other girls from other clubs who do not charge anything. I do not know how much we will start to charge from this professionalization. It's a breakthrough, but it's not that we're going to be able to live on this.
I have a friend who played in Boca and became pregnant. He had his son and never played again. It was very complicated. He always wanted to return, but between his laburo, the baby, the husband. The man does not have to stop playing, but the woman does. If a woman lives on soccer, as it happens in the United States, for example, you can be a mother and at the same time return, because it is not that in addition to training you have to work. Here, then, do not give time for everything.
I want to be a mother too, but when I stop playing. Because you lose a year and it's hard to come back. Then I want to wait to retire. Before that, I still have things to do, like playing a World Cup and then go play some time outside. There I will be able to live on football: you only dedicate yourself to playing. And it's good to try that: play and nothing else. Play, and play is the job.
* * *
It begins with stopping the gaze in a place where it was not done before. There is, there in front, a whole world. The habitual thing is to deny its presence in the past, to attribute that birth to the fashion or the superstition. The usual thing, too, is to disbelieve and take it as a joke. But we keep the look and the thing, all that world, is still there. Then the real questions begin. You begin to see the dimensions, the groove left on the road behind you. And almost like in a tale of magicians the conscience opens up. It takes time for a man to realize his mistakes and his stubbornness. Realize that that world before you is bigger than him.
That, I say, deconstruction.
That, I say, the position of a man's body before the advance of hundreds of soccer players who kick the ball in a way that man does not. That, I say, the transformation. The rumble through the dense air of history.
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. I am 20 years. I started playing football more seriously at 17 at the UAI Urquiza. Today I play in Platense, I am central. Before I had played all my life but in a recreational way, with my brothers, with my friends, my companions. I always had a bit of discrimination because it was not well seen. At school I was the tomboy for playing with boys.
I remember that at one point I started scoring goals, throwing pipes, and the kids did not want me to play with them anymore. The better I played the more I was discriminated against. Go to the hopscotch, go play the rope, they told me. The girls who wanted to join and did not know they were told not directly, but did not insult them. On the other hand, they were boring me.
It bothers me that I did not start training seriously as a girl, because I see the time I lost. If I had started at age 5 or 6 as any boy does today, I would be much better prepared and better player than I am. He would nod better, he would be more of a timer. But as a child I did not realize that lack. The space he had was fine and he did not claim another because he did not know it existed.
Luckily, things are changing. For me, professionalization is the whole, the ideal. But even after the announcement of the Chiqui Tapia I think there is a lot missing. I would love to be able to say that I am a footballer, but I know that today it is not reality. Although in my head and on my agenda more than 50 percent is occupied by the club. The afternoon that I return to my house to train, the hours I spend in Platense, the desire with which I wait for the weekend to see if I am on the list of those mentioned, if I go to the bank or if I play.
My old man can not believe what is happening. Let her professionalize, that her daughter will be charged for playing football. He can not believe it. And now he laughs at how he thought before, because my old man is re chauvinist. I am deconstructing it a bit. It is a difficult process. When I was a girl, he was one of the first to tell me that the ball is for men, and it did not take me to the court because I was a woman. I had my cousins or my brother, who was never interested in football, but I took them for the simple fact of being men. But little by little he understood and now follows the Platense campaign.
My dream? Grow as a soccer player and increasingly narrow the gap with what is masculine. Dedicate more time and more desire and more everything to this. And if one day I am a mother, know that if my daughter chooses to play ball, she will have the chance to live on that if she wishes.
That's why a young girl today would tell her to train. To train and play, because you will come great things ahead. More good things than bad, without a doubt. The worst of women's football has already happened. From here on there is no turning back.
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