Women in football seen as 'objects', says Corinne Diacre
Last Updated: 18/12/18 6:55am
France coach Corinne Diacre says women in football still face a struggle for acceptance and are often seen as "objects".
Diacre made history when she became the first female coach of a French men's professional team in 2014, and she is now hoping to guide Les Bleues to the women's World Cup title next year on home soil.
But the former France captain, who amassed 121 caps and 14 international goals - including the strike that took France to their maiden World Cup in 2003 - said it hadn't been an easy journey.
"When I started in football in the 1980s, it was very rare to see a girl playing, we were really looked down upon. Because football was supposedly restricted to men," she said.
"But unfortunately there are still too many negative things in football. (Not just) sexism, but I also hear a lot of talk about racism and these are things that are very difficult to put up with in 2018."
Diacre was speaking in Hong Kong during a FIFA-organised trip to work with Chan Yuen-ting, another history-maker who, in 2016, became the first woman coach to win a top-flight men's championship.
Attitudes to women in football came into focus this month when Ada Hegerberg, the first female winner of the prestigious Ballon d'Or, was asked as she received her award if she knew how to "twerk".
"Quite honestly, we're confronted by that kind of thing every day. I want to tell you that today nothing shocks me," said Diacre, who coached men's team Clermont in the French second tier for three seasons.
"Today, women are still objects," she added. "You still get asked questions about things that to my eyes are quite frankly completely ridiculous but we still have to fight today about these issues.
"But we women in football today focus on the important things - that is, our passion for football, and that's all we are about today."