FOOTBALL AND WOMEN
UNSUITABLE GAME FOR GIRLS.
The English Football Association have decided to request the clubs under their control not to allow the use of grounds for football matches between women, mainly because the g ame is unsuitable for women. The following resolution was unanimously passed:
Complaints have been made as to football being played by women, the council feel compelled to express their strong opinion that the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.
Complaints also have been made as to the conditions under which some of these matches have been arranged and played, and the appropriation of the receipts to other than charitable objects.
For these reasons, the council requests clubs belonging to the Association to refuse the use of their grounds for such matches.
A request from the Football Association amounts almost to an order.
It has been suggested that the chief drawbacks to the game for women were the unmaidenly "barging" and hefty-kicking which the game entails.
Discussing the question, Dr Elizabeth Sloan Chesser said: "I do not believe in placing a ban on any pleasure. If women want to play football, let them. On the other hand, there are physical reasons why the game is harmful to women. It is a rough game at any time, but it is more harmful to women than to men. They may receive injuries from which they may never recover."
WOMAN CAPTAIN PROTESTS.
A vigorous defence of women's football was made by Miss Long, captain of the Strand Corner House Restaurant Women’s football team. "In my experience of women's football matches," she said. "I do not remember any serious injury to any of the players. I recollect one broken arm, but accidents happen in all games. What people forget is that women footballers play women, and not men. Our girls are wonderfully healthy, and thoroughly enjoy the game. We sacrifice our holidays for the game and for the sake of charity. The decision of the Football Association does not affect us very seriously unless our firm decide to ban the game."
Speaking of the way the game is played by women, Miss Long added naively: "Of course, we get some fouls registered against us, but on the whole. I think women are cleaner players than men."
An old football ''Blue” who recently watched a women’s football match writes: "It was an 'inspiring spectacle, and I came away with the opinion that football is certainly not a game for women. If it is playedproperly it means a big tax on the physical strength of the players . It also requires the least possible clothing. How the girls, although they wore shorts and displayed bare knees, could stand heavy sweaters combined with the violent exercise, beats me.
In a letter addressed to the secretary of the Football Association, Major Cecil Kent, of Liverpool, formerly secretary of the Old Westminsters Football Club, protests against a ban on women’s football, stating that he has seen about 30 football matches between women.
Major Kent observes: "On all hands I have heard nothing but praise- for the good work the girls are doing and the high standard of their play. The only thing I now hear from the man in the street is, 'Why have the Football Association got their knife into girls' football? What have the girls done except to raise large sums for charity and to play the game?'
I know that no unnecessary expenses are ever charged by the reputable girls' football clubs, and that the charities alone benefit from the matches."
This article was syndicated to various newspapers in the UK towards the end of 1921, and was appearing in the colonial press in April of 1922.