A huge rise in the number of reports of sexist discrimination in football targeted at high‑profile women in the game is worrying but not surprising, according to the sport’s leading gender equality pressure group. There has been an overall increase of almost 400% in the number of reports of sex discrimination and harassment incidents received by Women in Football, with alleged abuse on social media accounting for the biggest leap.
Wimbledon does not intend to change the name of its ladies’ tournament to “women’s” despite the positive reaction garnered by Chelsea football club rebranding its women’s team. The ladies’ singles has run concurrently to the gentlemen’s at the championships since 1884, but the gentlemen’s tournament is more commonly referred to as the men’s by the players themselves and on TV commentary. A spokeswoman for the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which runs Wimbledon, confirmed there were no plans afoot to change the names of either the gentlemen’s or ladies’. But it and other sporting institutions are facing calls to modernise their language and reflect the growing popularity of women’s sport.
Gender inequality in football is more entrenched than in politics, business, medicine and space exploration, according to a salary survey that compared the employment status and pay of thousands of male and female footballers worldwide. Among a number of stark findings was that the combined pay of those playing in the top seven women’s football leagues equals that of a single male footballer, the Brazilian forward Neymar, who plays for the French club Paris St-Germain.