Spain’s footballer union, (AFE) say a deal which has seen nine players from Saudia Arabia join Spanish clubs sacrifice “the essence of the sport”. Last week, six first and second division teams signed nine players on loan from teams in the Kingdom. “This new business model prioritises the economic aspect over the sporting one”, said AFE.
But in truth, what is the essence of football today? Is it not simply economic? Were it otherwise, we would be seeing more women’s matches being broadcast on TV. Sadly, that is not the case.
The AFE go on to say, “This agreement impedes the development of young footballers and represents an obstacle to opportunities for the youth academy which isn’t always accorded this type of opportunity.”
Poor little boys! What about the women footballers who are never granted opportunities?
Seemingly, football is thee most important sport in Saudia Arabia. According to the Chairman of the General Sports Authority, they feel compelled to give the youth of their country the chance to achieve their objectives and play football at the highest level possible.
Yet. can such distinguished bodies not feel the same need to give opportunites to women in a country which is consistently ranked as one of the worst places in the world for women’s rights? Only in January of this year, 2018, were women allowed to watch a Saudi Premier League game for the first time, in the coastal city of Jeddah.
Strange, that in Spain these Saudia Arabian footballers’ contracts seem to have pricked the conscience of the AFE! When will the lack of opportunities for women in football have the same effect on the members of the union? We must remember that the AEF was created to fight for footballers’ rights forty years ago. Do another forty have to pass before it starts fighting for women’s rights?