sports

For everyone who says women's sport is boring, you must've missed the Matildas last night.

“Something that women do, I find terrible,” Mike Etheridge, co-host of The Edge’s Mike E & Emma radio show, explained on Thursday morning.

“With all this sh*t going on about that bloody women’s soccer group – whatever they’re called – and that Ash chick who won that tennis thing… I just want to say what everyone’s thinking: Women’s sport is boring. Like, I don’t give a sh*t.”

Etheridge insisted he is a “feminist” and was adamant that he believes the genders should be “equal”. Except for when it comes to sport.

But it just so happened that less than 24 hours after Etheridge made such comments, the Matildas – “that bloody women’s soccer group” – proved exactly why women’s sport is not boring.

The Matildas, Australia’s national women’s soccer team, demonstrated once again that women’s sport is every bit as thrilling and entertaining as men’s sport.

In fact, they proved – like Ash Barty did in her French Open campaign last week – that the amusement factor of any sporting game has nothing to do with gender at all.

Rather, competitive players, close games and controversial calls are universal aspects of sport.

They are not gender specific.

The Matildas, captained by Sam Kerr, found themselves down two-nil to Brazil after 38 minutes. They were the clear underdogs.

Powerful kicks from Caitlin Foord and Chloe Logarzo levelled the score, and an own goal gifted by the Brazilians saw the Matildas out in front with 25 minutes left in the game.

In the early hours of Friday morning, Australian time, the final whistle was blown and our national women’s soccer team celebrated their first World Cup win with a final score of three-two.

matildas vs brazil world cup
The Matildas won their first World Cup game with a final score of 3-2. Image: Getty.
ADVERTISEMENT

"I'm so proud of the girls. We knew we were in it at halftime, and you know there were a lot of critics talking about it but we're back," Sam Kerr said in a post-match interview in a clear state of elation.

"So suck on that one!"

Indeed, the Matildas do have their critics. And they continue to be subjected to the sexist remarks of people who just don't like women's sport.

People who refuse to watch them, because they are female.

These beliefs are reflected in the prize money too.

As pointed out by the 'Our Goal is Now' campaign, the prize money for the 2018 Men’s FIFA World Cup was US$400 million.

For the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, where games are of equal length to Men's, the prize money is US$30 million.

That means women are awarded just 7.5 percent of the prize money given to the men.

Whilst this prize money has been doubled since the last Women's World Cup, it remains a long, long way from equal.

There is a feeling among many, like the aforementioned Mike E, that women's sport just isn't as good as men's. And that impacts almost every aspect of the sport, from how many people watch it to how much they are paid.

But what the Matildas proved on Friday is that women's sport deserves to be given the recognition they have been denied for too long.

So in the perhaps uncouth but nevertheless robust words of Sam Kerr, if you think women's sport is boring then suck on that one.

00:00 / ???