A piece in yesterday’s Times by Philip Willan:
Two former Italian football internationals have been forced to back down after on-screen tirades against women during which one said that hearing female opinions on tactics “makes my stomach turn”.
Fulvio Collovati, a World Cup-winning defender in 1982, made the remarks during a football show on state-run television.
“When I hear a woman talking about tactics it makes my stomach turn over,” Collovati said, moments after Sara Piccinini, a correspondent and the wife of the Sassuolo player Federico Peluso, filed her report from a Serie A match between her husband’s team and Empoli. “I can’t take it. If you talk about the match and about how it went, that’s okay. But you can’t talk about tactics, because a woman doesn’t understand like a man — it’s just a fact.”
Alessandro Costacurta, the legendary AC Milan player, was forced to back down after an attack on Wanda Nara, the agent and wife of Mauro Icardi, and her public battle with his club, Inter Milan.
She had criticised the club’s treatment of her husband on another television show and blamed his team-mates for failing to stand up for him when he was recently dropped as captain.
“If it was my wife I would tell her: ‘You can’t say those things to my mates, otherwise I will kick you out of the house’,” Costacurta said on a chat show on Sky Sports.
The comments from the pair have caused widespread outrage, with the head of RAI television said to be considering suspending Collovati from its sports coverage.
Regina Baresi, the captain of Inter Milan’s women’s team, hit back at Collovati: “My stomach ache has lasted since yesterday. If you like I can explain offside, VAR (video assistant referee), 4-3-3 formation, zone defence and how a man can still be so limited in 2019,” she said.
Baresi pointed out that Italy’s women would be participating in the next World Cup in France while their male counterparts had failed to qualify for the last competition in Russia last year.
Piccinini said that women were changing football for the better. “Perhaps men feel a threat to their traditional and exclusive territory,” she told La Repubblica. She said that Collovati had sent her a message resembling an apology on Instagram in which he said that she belonged to “the 30 per cent of women qualified to talk about football”. [J4MB: Surely a typo. He probably meant 0.003 per cent of women.]
“Maximus” left the following comments:
I agree in principle with his sentiments. The BBC and others are now ramming female presenters and pundits down our throats talking about football, cricket, rugby etc. The number of women watching/ playing these sports may have increased, but I believe the vast majority are still not interested. Last night on BBC Sport was typical, (Asian) female presenter starts talking about tonight’s matches, over to Anfield where another female proceeds to tell us about the history of Liverpool v Bayern Munich fixtures, then off to Stamford Bridge where another female presenter tells us about the tribulations of the Chelsea manager.
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