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Mover Over Messi, Argentina Announces Women’s Soccer Will Now Be Professionalized

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In a country that is home to Lionel Messi and some of the best soccer players in the world, Argentinian women will now have a chance at an equal level playing field. Argentina’s football association (AFA) just announced that the national women’s league will now be granted professional status. The news is a breakthrough moment for not only Argentinian soccer but competitive women’s sports as a whole.

As well as having their game professionalized they will be paid like it too.

AFA President Claudio Tapia said at a press conference that each of the 16 clubs of the women’s top division must now have at least eight professional contracts with female soccer players. Those contracts must also match those of the professional men’s league. To this point, The women’s game has been largely played by amateur athletes who have gotten little money for their work compared to their male counterparts.

“When we assumed responsibility, we said we were going to oversee inclusive soccer that is gender equal, and we are demonstrating that,” Tapia told the AP.

Tapia says that the association will help by contributing 120,000 pesos (which is about $3,000) per month to each of the women’s club to finance the contracts. The female players will now be paid a monthly minimum salary of about 15,000 pesos ( roughly $365), which is equal to that made by male players in the fourth division of Argentine soccer.

In terms of success, the country team has made three World Cup appearances but has yet to make it to out of the group stage.

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The professionalization of women’s soccer in Argentina is also a good sign in terms of further helping develop future stars. The country’s women national team has had relativity low success in international soccer. In three World Cup appearances, the national team has yet to make it out of the group stage.

“This association has one promise, to improve football,” Tapia told reporters at the press conference. “We are going to keep working to develop women’s football in all provinces.”

In addition to the new league, women players will be receiving a brand new high performance center in Buenos Aires. Tapia says the association would provide pitches for teams that do not have their own facilities. The new soccer league is set to begin this June but the number of teams in the league have yet to be announced by the AFA.

The move follows a series of legal actions taken by women soccer players vying for equality on and off the field.

@afaseleccion / Instagram

The movement towards professionalization got steam when Macarena Sanchez, one of the best and most well-known women players in the country, was dismissed by the UAI Urquiza team. Shortly after, Sanchez took legal action against the club seeking compensation and professional status.

“It’s very frustrating,” Sánchez told the Guardian. “They have better salaries, better conditions and can live by being footballers. We, unfortunately, can’t. We have better results, more championships and we have even played international tournaments but we are seen as inferior just for being women.”

This movement has followed to the U.S. women’s national soccer team who also sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for “institutionalized gender discrimination. The team says they are receiving unequal pay compared with their counterparts on the men’s national team.

In Colombia, two players, Isabella Echeverri and Melissa Ortiz, who play for the women’s national team spoke out on social media about what they feel is “sexual discrimination.” They say they are playing on substandard conditions and receive discriminatory treatment by their soccer federation.

“We have decided to be honest about the reality of soccer in our country with a series of videos that we hope boost awareness,” they said on social meida. “We love our country and we want things to change for the better for female players.”

This movement has led to what many women soccer players feel is just the start of more equal and fair opportunities in the sport.

The hope is the new league will expose players to new fans and generate sponsorships for future revenue. Women’s soccer in Argentina has gotten some exposure this year, with the Boca Juniors’ female team playing at the Bombonera stadium for the first time this month. The match was also shown on television, becoming the first female football match to be shown live in the country.

Tapia says this is hopefully just the start for professional women’s’ soccer recognition in Argentina. But the success will be weighed on how many fans they get in the seats and television rights they receive for live games.

The women’s game in soccer has already made great strides the last few years. Last year, FIFA ordered all member nations to have female football plans in place by 2022 and to double the number of female players to 60 million by 2026.

READ: Chicharito Announced In A Gender Reveal Party That He Is Having A Chicharito Of His Own

São Paulo Hosts First Pride Since Bolsonaro’s Election And The LGBTQ+ Community Took Over The City

Culture

São Paulo Hosts First Pride Since Bolsonaro’s Election And The LGBTQ+ Community Took Over The City

@ruuh_avlis / Twitter

Since Jair Bolsonaro assumed office as Brazil’s president on January 1, 2019, a lot has changed for the LGBTQ+ community of Brazil. In the past, Bolsonaro has publicly stated that he’d prefer his son to die than to be gay. During his winning campaign, he relied on anti-gay rhetoric to gain right-wing support. In April of this year, he told reporters that Brazil “can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism.”

São Paulo’s first gay pride parade since his election is set to prove him wrong. This month, the Brazil Supreme Court has criminalized discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, much to Bolsonaro’s dismay, and the gays are celebrating.

Hundreds of thousands of queer people flooded the streets of Brazil’s largest city.

@rufusdowling / Twitter

There were nineteen moving stages with live performances by queer and allied artists that kept the world’s largest gay party going. Like many other LGBT parades, São Paulo aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots against police brutality in New York City.

These are the people that Bolsonaro refuses to accept or acknowledge.

@wesyvinicius / Twitter

The fact is that we’re queer and we’re here. The culture of Brazil has changed rapidly in the last 10 years. More and more LGBTQ+ rights have been secured while the evangelical community has grown 15 percent since 2000. A third of the country is now evangelical, which often translates into flagrant homophobia.

Brazilians were soaked up all sun and no hate this past weekend.

@MidiaNINJA / Twitter

The parade lasted all day June 24 and might have been the largest parade in the country’s history. With both victories to celebrate and growing hate to keep the community marching forward, there were plenty of reasons to show up.

Last month, the head of the nation’s HIV Prevention Task Force was fired for launching a campaign to educate transgender Brazilians about the deadly virus.

@arabellamartuni / Twitter

Acknowledging trans people in Brazil has become a fireable offense, and it’s not going to get better while Bolsonaro is in charge. Some politicians are even advocating to ban gender and sexual orientation diversity from being discussed in the classroom.

This is erasure and São Paulo isn’t having any of it.

@DivetePurple / Twitter

The city launched the use of new walking signals up and down the main street that feature same-sex couples in time for the celebration of PRIDE. Seeing ourselves in even the smallest ways is validating.

Bolsonaro has inspired bills that seek to define a family as an exclusively heterosexual relationship.

@FADASLGBT / Twitter

That would limit LGBTQ+ folks from accessing health care, welfare benefits, and adoption abilities, and so much more. Of course, evangelicals are also pushing for a bathroom bill to go into effect.

Human rights watchdog Grupo Gay Bahia reports that 141 LGBT people have died because of hate crimes or suicide between January and May 15 of this year.

@cleytu / Twitter

That’s an average of one person every 23 hours. The LGBTQ+ community is in serious threat, especially as a toxic culture continues to brew in Brazil. Currently, 1 in 6 Brazilian politicians is evangelical (i.e. right-wing conservative).

Many signs at the parade affirmed to the community that God loves them.

@MidiaNINJA / Twitter

Too often, Latinos raised in religious households internalize homophobia for others and even against themselves. These kinds of messages are more powerful than heteros realize.

Bolsonaro refuses to include the LGBTQ+ community as a group protected by the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights.

@FADASLGBT / Twitter

Bolsonaro has spoken to reporters about how the future will no longer look like boys playing with dolls. Boys will be boys and girls will be girls under Bolsonaro’s understandings of the words.

But at least we have glitter. 🌈 

@magerson / Instagram

Sorry, Bolsonaro. We have style, compassion, and wide open hearts, and you don’t. Must suck.

There was also a considerable intersection of gay pride and advocacy to release ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from prison.

@fofunista / Instagram

He was convicted of money laundering and being bribed and sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison. Politicians ranging from Noam Chomsky to the Nobel laureate of Argentina to Bernie Sanders have advocated for his release. It’s been brought to light that Bolsonaro likely had a hand in denying Lula due process and a fair trial.

Happy Pride, Brazil!

@marciojmsilva / Twitter

Thank you for having the bravery to stand up to an administration that wants to erase you from existence.

READ: Pabllo Vittar Is The Superstar Brazilian Drag Queen The World Has Come To Love Because Of Their Unapologetic Persona

Brazil’s Soccer Reina Marta Trumps Germany’s Miroslav Klose For All-Time World Cup Scoring Record

Entertainment

Brazil’s Soccer Reina Marta Trumps Germany’s Miroslav Klose For All-Time World Cup Scoring Record

Buda Mendes / Staff | Getty Images

If you’re not watching FIFA’s Women’s World Cup, you are not living life! We hope you’re not one of those people that is under the wrong assumption that men’s soccer is more enjoyable and thrilling to watch. Women’s soccer has so much excitement and so much history in the making.

Yesterday’s battle between Italy and Brazil was incredible for more reasons than one.

Brazil beat Italy 1 to 0, and now they’re one of the best teams in the World Cup.

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According to sports news outlets, yesterday’s score for Brazil means “Italy, Brazil, and Australia qualify for the knockout stages while Jamaica, the first Caribbean country to play in the Women’s World Cup, fail to progress after three defeats in three matches.”

The winning goal was made by none other than Marta, which garnered a historic 17th World Cup score.

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Marta, known for her single name moniker (full name Marta Vieira da Silva), made the winning kick during the penalty shot against Italy. Her stellar kick now means she’s “moving her ahead of Germany’s Miroslav Klose to become the outright top scorer in both the men’s and women’s game,” according to ESPN.  

You still think women’s soccer doesn’t match up to men’s?

Here’s how people on social media are taking the news that Marta made history.

Let’s pop that champagne!

Marta is a pioneer in so many ways.

We’re sure she’s inspired countless of people.

How about a match between Marta and any of these other male suckers?

We know who’d shine on through.

She’a legend in her own right.

There’s no match.

We’re sure this is not her last goal.

Not by a long shot.

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