Fans of women’s top football league in France are up in arms at the substandard coverage offered by French television, which they say is symptomatic of broader neglect of the sport in a country that was long a powerhouse of the women’s game in Europe but is now falling behind.
Footballers playing for the world’s richest club could be forgiven for expecting state-of-the-art facilities and maximum exposure – unless they are women.
When the women’s team of Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last played a home game, hosting Rodez at their Camp des Loges ground outside Paris, viewers watching on their television screens at home could barely make out the players running about on the dimly lit pitch.
The next day, football fans who tuned in for the heavyweight clash between Guingamp and Le Havre experienced similar frustration, the spectacle blurred out by raindrops covering a poorly attended camera lens.
Such sub-par broadcasts are all too familiar to fans of D1 Arkema, the women’s top football league in France, according to the online magazine Footeuses, which published an open letter last week demanding “respect and consideration for women’s football in France”.
The letter soon went viral on social media, prompting a flurry of reactions from disgruntled fans, says Clément Gauvin, who cofounded Footeuses in the wake of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, the first to be hosted on French soil.
Canal+, which owns the TV rights, says it is aware of the problem, which it blames on “technical” problems it has little or no control over.
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