Brazilian soccer player Marta has become the all-time leading scorer at World Cups. She surpassed former German forward Miroslav Klose and may increase the gap in the near future. However, not everyone was happy about the Brazilian player’s historic record: she faced a lot of sexist insults online, and Marta herself raised the issue of discrimination in sport.
There was a revolution in world soccer. The famous Brazilian Marta became the best scorer in the history of the World Cup, breaking the record of the German Miroslav Klose. In the group stage match against Italy (1-0) of the Women’s World Cup held in France, Marta scored her 17th goal in the World Cup. Klose, who has already finished his career, has 16 goals under his belt.
- But Martha is only 33 years old, and she’s not going to leave the national team just yet. This means that she can increase her record not only at the current World Cup, but also during the next one. However, fans are divided on whether it is appropriate to put the Brazilian on a par with Klose.
The fact is that this year the interest in the Women’s Mundial is unusually high. This is largely due to the actively developing trend of sports equality. To be fair, Martha has never complained about her lack of popularity. Nevertheless, a comparison with Klose is something foreign to the fan, in the classic sense of which there is a huge difference between women’s and men’s soccer, so the proclamation of Marta as the top scorer of the World Cup did not please many.
However, every year it becomes more and more clear that the whole difference lies mainly in the salaries that players of different genders receive. This topic was brought up by Marta herself in her interview after the historic record, saying that it is important to achieve financial equality between men and women in soccer.
“I have nice feelings, but it’s not just about the record. I’m proud to be the woman who achieved it. We represent women here and we have to show the role we play in society. All the teams here are women first and foremost,” the Brazilian said.
- “I want everyone to understand: I’m not just talking about sports. There is an uphill battle for gender equality in the world. It’s everywhere. I’m sure that in terms of prizes and salaries, we deserve as much attention as the other sex.”
– the soccer player added.
The statement caused conservative fans to turn on Martha. The idea is that the women’s and men’s World Cups are very different in their level of play, so they should not be equated. Klose is called a true scorer, and Marta is just a fantasy and an artificially created character that society needs to promote its interests and ideals.
This is partly true. There is no official wording on whether and by what criteria the women’s and men’s mundials can be compared. Only in the official tweet of the women’s World Cup there was a record that Marta set a record. Can that be counted as a position? Hardly.
The main contradiction is that women and men don’t play each other, so it’s incorrect to put Marta’s and Klose’s goals in the same tournament standings. In this case we should take into account the regulations and FIFA’s position, but so far no clarity has been given to this question. The first to speak about a new record were the journalists, who proclaimed the Brazilian the best scorer in the history of the World Cup.
- Whether that’s true or not is up to each individual. But when Klose set his record, it was exclusively about men, and Martha was never included in the official rankings – and that’s a fact.
The problem of discrimination in soccer was raised two years ago with a loud scandal by Ada Hegerberg of Norway, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2018. Incidentally, this award, the most valuable in modern soccer, is already being given to men and women in one ceremony. Another question is that if the goals at the World Cups are in the same ranking, why is it right to have women’s and men’s versions of the Golden Ball? If you go by that logic, then the best footballer in the world, as well as the scorer, should also be common. FIFA’s opinion here, too, is unclear.
Going back to Hegerberg, she scandalously left the national team after her departure from the European Championship in 2017. Ada, who is rightly called the best player in the world at the moment, accused the Norwegian Football Federation of treating the men’s and women’s national teams differently.
- The issue was money – the men have twice the prize money. There were other versions, according to which the girl was just offended at the coaching staff, which during the Euro 2017 did not include her sister in the starting lineup.
Before the 2019 World Cup another scandalous interview came out, in which Ada again censured the federation and the treatment of female players in the country. For this, the Norwegian men’s national team midfielder Martin Edegaard was quite rude to her.
“Couldn’t they have come up with something better and not interfere with the team’s preparation for the World Cup? They went to the World Cup representing their country, it’s one of the most important moments in an athlete’s career, and there was already enough negative attention to them. They deserve better. You chose not to play for the national team, so respect Norway and the national team. Enough complaints,” the Real Madrid midfielder resented.
It is impossible to argue with the fact that women’s soccer brings much less income than men’s. And the interest of the viewer is tremendously different. Hence, the salaries of athletes, as such there is a rationale for this problem. Salaries depend on the fact that many people think men’s soccer is more interesting than women’s and therefore more expensive. In American basketball, as well as in tennis, female athletes try to fight this assertion.
- But to refute the fact that men’s sports are loved more and are willing to pay more for them is quite difficult.
A sensible approach to this question, for example, in the fight promotions. For example, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest mixed martial arts company, has an overall pound-for-pound ranking that includes both men and women. And prize money and salaries depend solely on the popularity of a fighter’s performances.
- Conventionally speaking, if at one tournament the best performance of the evening is considered a woman’s fight, the sum of the bonus won’t change in any way.
We should not forget that the difference between men’s and women’s sport has been formed historically. But in the modern world it is almost minimized. However, everyone at any time is free to choose for themselves what they like and what they pay for. Concluding the topic of Marta and Klose, we can only note the importance of FIFA’s swift intervention in the situation. Otherwise it could lead to a big conflict.