I love the World Cup and every four years am gripped by the drama played out in one exciting location or another. But this year something is different. This year I have noticed, for the first time really, that – leaving aside the fans and the people watching the games on TV – the whole event is totally and utterly male. Which I never minded before, but this time round I’m missing female faces and voices to make me feel included.
So, although this by no means goes any way to addressing the situation, I’ve started my weekly write-up of the great festival of football that is Russia 2018 and what’s happened during the week that will interest woman like me.
- England are still in the tournament. Not surprising, because all the teams who started are. But they won their first match in convincing fashion, so I’ve been persuaded to keep supporting them as they haven’t let me down YET.
- Japan can come round to my house anytime. The ‘Samurai Blue’ fans clean up the stadium after a match and the custom has spread to other teams, like Senegal.
- Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the most talked-about player of the tournament. He’s scored four goals in two matches so far, overshadowed only by that other prolific scorer, ‘Own Goal’, who has tapped in five after 17 games (almost a record).
- Denmark’s team clubbed together so that defender Jonas Knudsen could fly back home to see his newborn daughter after the side played Peru. “There are lots of fathers in the squad. You have to remember we are human beings as well as footballers,” said goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. Denmark beat Peru 1-0 on Saturday.
- So far, Spain take my prize for the worst kit of the tournament with the away kit they played in twice in the first week. I love the Spanish side but can’t get inspired by a national side playing in what looks like dingy whites. Lads: separate your whites, don’t dry them on such a high heat, and consider soaking overnight in water with some lemon juice or vinegar added. There, sorted.
That’s it for this week. Unless I see some female pundits or commentators in the days ahead I’ll be back with my week 2 round up. Please join me and to help with your viewing until then:
Nicknames of the teams in the World Cup
Best beginner’s guide to the World Cup
Some World Cup memes to keep you going
First female commentator for World Cup match
BBC pundit Patrice Evra just wants to spread happiness in Russia