<p style="text-align: center;"><object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="470" height="375" codebase="http:\/\/download.macromedia.com\/pub\/shockwave\/cabs\/flash\/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" \/><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" \/><param name="src" value="http:\/\/www.youtube.com\/v\/ISp6p7ahxNs?fs=1&hl=en_GB" \/><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" \/><embed type="application\/x-shockwave-flash" width="470" height="375" src="http:\/\/www.youtube.com\/v\/ISp6p7ahxNs?fs=1&hl=en_GB" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"><\/embed><\/object>\r\n\r\n<p style="text-align: left;">A former women's football official\u00a0has accused organisers of the women's game\u00a0of 'running before they can walk'\u00a0in their efforts to promote the sport.<\/p>\r\n<!--more-->Ex-OOH Lincoln Ladies' media officer Geoff Adams in an exclusive\u00a0interview\u00a0claims\u00a0leaders in women's\u00a0football\u00a0are 'impatient':\r\n<blockquote>"I believe there is a sense of impatience among those\u00a0running\u00a0women's football. The decision-making and hubris of the people funding\u00a0it is wrong; they think they can sprinkle some magic dust\u00a0and it will take off." (Geoff Adams, September 2010)<\/blockquote>\r\nIn England, for example, the FA\u00a0has invested around \u00a34.5million\u00a0to fund\u00a0the country's first\u00a0full-time women's football league.\r\n\r\nThe\u00a0new Women's Super League kicks-off this month, but Adams predicts it will not be a success.\r\n\r\nHe\u00a0says\u00a0the league\u00a0has been introduced too early and, despite a\u00a0'rush' to develop the game,\u00a0feels\u00a0women's\u00a0football is still not good enough to be\u00a0a worthwhile spectator sport:\r\n<blockquote>"There's been talk that the reason this professional league\u00a0is\u00a0being\u00a0rushed through is to tick the various boxes for\u00a0England's 2018 World Cup bid. If that is so, then the\u00a0reasons for creating this league\u00a0are not in the\u00a0best interests of the women's game." (Geoff Adams, September 2010)<\/blockquote>\r\nContrary to most people's beliefs, women\u2019s football has been around almost as long as the men's game. Writer Jean Williams notes in '<em><a href="http:\/\/books.google.co.uk\/books?id=VuIp04RvKX8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=a+beautiful+game+williams&source=bl&ots=BHXeMMguB0&sig=jQvwS_Ibgf7s-tFsuYuIs3WOQXU&hl=en&ei=ARdpTJrOK8aR4gbM-P2YBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A beautiful game<\/a><\/em>' that a women's football match took place\u00a0in London as early as 1895.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_16773" align="alignright" width="260" caption="Brandi Chastain celebrates scoring for the USA. Photo: AP"]<a href="http:\/\/img186.imageshack.us\/i\/brandichastain.jpg\/"><img class="size-medium wp-image-16773 " title="Brandi Chastain celebrates scoring for the USA" src="https:\/\/www.lsjnews.co.uk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/brandichastain-260x263.jpg" alt="" width="260" height="263" \/><\/a>[\/caption]\r\n\r\nAnd now, football\u00a0is\u00a0the fastest growing participation sport for women.\r\n\r\nOver\u00a030 million\u00a0women play\u00a0football\u00a0globally and this figure is rising.\r\n\r\nThe number of registered female players in the game increased by 54% between 2000 and 2006, according to Fifa's Big Count.\r\n\r\nSo why does women's football not have a high media profile?\r\n\r\nThere are several factors, but the two\u00a0main\u00a0reasons are\u00a0an underdevelopment of the women's game\u00a0and\u00a0a\u00a0greater male interest in the sport.\r\n\r\nThe women's game has developed more slowly than the men's, for instance, the first Women's World Cup (WWC) took place\u00a0in 1991 while the first men's World Cup was staged in 1930.\r\n\r\nAnd there is\u00a0more male involvement in the game, for example, male spectators\u00a0outnumbered\u00a0female spectators at\u00a0England's <a href="http:\/\/news.bbc.co.uk\/sport1\/hi\/football\/world_cup_2010\/matches\/match_37\/default.stm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2010 World Cup clash<\/a> with Slovenia by a ratio of 20-1. This is typical of most football matches.\r\n\r\nFifa has often been criticised for\u00a0its attempts to popularise rather than improve women's football. In 2004, Fifa president Sepp Blatter caused a massive uproar when, according to <em>The Guardian<\/em>,\u00a0he urged female players to wear <a href="http:\/\/www.guardian.co.uk\/uk\/2004\/jan\/16\/football.gender" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">hotpants<\/a>:\r\n<blockquote>"Let women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts." (Sepp Blatter, 2004)<\/blockquote>\r\nIndeed the Swiss is not popular with the ladies according to a recent poll, where 83% of all female respondents said he should not be re-elected Fifa president.\r\n\r\nBlatter's 'feminine' approach to women's football has also been subject to political and religious scrutiny.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_16782" align="alignleft" width="260" caption="Strict dress codes apply to Arab female players. Photo: ISNA"]<a href="http:\/\/www.rferl.org\/content\/No_Hijab_On_The_Soccer_Field\/2003057.html"><img class="size-medium wp-image-16782 " title="Female players wearing the hijab" src="https:\/\/www.lsjnews.co.uk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3121205879_4c639eb345_m1-260x194.jpg" alt="" width="260" height="194" \/><\/a>[\/caption]\r\n\r\nIn 2007, for example, Fifa prohibited Iranian women from wearing hijabs in matches.\r\n\r\nThen in April this year, an Iranian women's youth team were <a href="http:\/\/www.telegraph.co.uk\/sport\/othersports\/olympics\/7559228\/Iran-demands-Fifa-lifts-Olympic-games-football-hijab-ban.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">banned<\/a> by Fifa after the country's Olympic committee insisted that they wear the traditional Islamic headscarf.\r\n\r\nFifa offered a compromise of wearing caps instead of the hijab which the Iranian FA agreed to, but an Iranian official for women's affairs rejected a new <a href="http:\/\/uk.reuters.com\/article\/idUKTRE6662ZN20100707" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Fifa-approved strip<\/a> for the ladies' team.\r\n\r\nDespite Fifa's seemingly sexist view of women's football, the federation's human resource development general secretary Christina Collenberg in an interview with <em><a href="http:\/\/www.hrtoday.ch\/hrtoday\/fr\/hr_services\/hr_team\/501236\/Secr%C3%A9tariat_g%C3%A9n%C3%A9ral_de_la_Fifa" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">HR Today<\/a><\/em> claims Fifa is female-friendly:\r\n<blockquote>"Because of our very flat hierarchical structure, there are many opportunities for promotion." (Christina Collenberg, March 2008)<\/blockquote>\r\nScottish women's football heads Maureen McGonigle and Shelia Begbie both say they know '<em>many women<\/em>' working in football's world body.\r\n\r\nBut evidence from Fifa's website shows a lack of female presence in several key decision-making areas.\r\n\r\nAll 25 executive committee members, for instance, are male. There are also no women on Fifa's ethics, football, disciplinary or finance committees.\r\n\r\nEven the committee in charge of the women's game is ruled by men. Thailand's Worawi Makudi (chairman) and Belgium's Michel D'Hooghe (deputy-chairman) lead Fifa's commission for women's football and the WWC.\r\n\r\nAuthor Simon Freeman in '<em>Own Goal!<\/em>' notes that most female employees at Fifa occupy '<em>humble positions<\/em>' because world football's governing body is '<em>overwhelmingly male<\/em>'.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_16788" align="alignright" width="192" caption="An upset Paraguay fan after losing to Spain at World Cup 2010. Photo: Norberto Duarte \/ AFP \/ Getty Images"]<img class="size-full wp-image-16788 " title="An upset Paraguay fan after the loss to Spain at the 2010 World Cup" src="https:\/\/www.lsjnews.co.uk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/4702520179_9949497dce_m.jpg" alt="" width="192" height="240" \/>[\/caption]\r\n\r\nInvestigative reporter Andrew Jennings too claims Fifa has a long-standing tradition of patriarchy:\r\n<blockquote>"You\u2019ve only got to look at how long people have been there [at Fifa]. There is no serious challenge, so what you have is no move against it." (Andrew Jennings, July 2010)<\/blockquote>\r\nJennings writes in '<em>Foul!<\/em>' that women are a rarity in football's parliament. Haiti's illegitimate delegate Vincy Jalal, for example, was '<em>one of a half dozen women amongst a thousand men<\/em>' in Fifa's 1996 congress.\r\n\r\nA <a href="http:\/\/www.publications.parliament.uk\/pa\/cm200506\/cmselect\/cmcumeds\/1357\/1357.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">House of Commons' report<\/a> on women's football found a shortage of female officials in the game. There are, for instance, few female\u00a0managers because most women's teams are led by male coaches.\r\n\r\nThe report also showed a lack of awareness for the women's game, for example, there is little coverage of events such as\u00a0the forthcoming\u00a02011 WWC in Germany.\r\n\r\nAlthough Fifa say women's football is making huge strides, Play the Game communications manager <a href="http:\/\/www.playthegame.org\/knowledge-bank\/author-profile\/stine-alvad.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Stine Alvad<\/a> says Fifa are only interested in '<em>making money<\/em>':\r\n<blockquote>"Fifa has the potential to do good through football, but they miss out on these opportunities because they are so good at making money." (Stine Alvad, July 2010)<\/blockquote>\r\nA handful of women have been involved in some Fifa scandals.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_16794" align="alignleft" width="260" caption="Women find football a 'catchy' sport. Photo: fmd1.com"]<a href="http:\/\/images.fashionmodeldirectory.com\/model\/000000069550-gisele_bundchen-fullsize.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-16794 " title="Great catch!" src="https:\/\/www.lsjnews.co.uk\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/000000069550-gisele_bundchen-fullsize-260x179.jpg" alt="" width="260" height="179" \/><\/a>[\/caption]\r\n\r\nVincy Jalal was an imposter at the 1996 congress. Blatter used Fifa money to book flights for former girlfriend Ilona Boguska, while his daughter Corinne runs his controversial election\u00a0campaigns.\r\n\r\nWomen, however, have historically been marginalised in football.\r\n\r\nWilliams notes in '<a href="http:\/\/books.google.co.uk\/books?id=V62Qau3-HCIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22women%20fifa%22&lr&source=gbs_slider_thumb#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em>A game for rough girls<\/em><\/a>' how the English FA banned girls playing football from 1921 to 1971 because they regarded the game as '<em>unsuitable<\/em> <em>for women<\/em>'.\r\n\r\nTraditional views of football as a male sport continues to restrict female involvement, according to the <a href="http:\/\/books.google.co.uk\/books?id=yo2ZnpOQc7AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=jean%20williams%20rough%20girls&source=gbs_slider_thumb#v=onepage&q=jean%20williams%20rough%20girls&f=false" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">International Football Institute (IFI)<\/a>.<span style="text-decoration: underline;"> <\/span>\r\n\r\nBut since Fifa first declared '<em>the future is feminine<\/em>' in 1995, Blatter has said on numerous occasions that women will be the 'future of football':\r\n<blockquote>"I still believe that the future of football is feminine." (Sepp Blatter, February 2007)<\/blockquote>\r\nOnly time will tell girls.