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Serie A Femminile and the Coronavirus Crisis: What We Risk Losing

The second in a series of posts that will examine the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on Serie A Femminile.

Deborah Salvatori Rinaldi and Miriam Longo
© Ettore Griffoni |

The second in a series of posts dedicated to examining the effects of the coronavirus crisis on Serie A Femminile.

The AC Milan Women are among those who will be affected by the ongoing crisis. And while they’re in a better position to weather the storm than other teams are, it is important to remember that they are not immune from everything that is going on.

And one of the ways this will affect them is through their players.

For an explanation as to how and why here is a translation of a piece that was originally written by Lucia Pirola of Radio Rossonera.

First off: yes, it’s true, football is certainly not a priority of the moment. It is not, and it doesn’t have to be.

It will become one when the post-emergency recovery phase begins, when the priority will be to recover the pieces of companies, the companies themselves, activities (assets), businesses, and so forth. In short, football will become a priority when the priority will be the workers themselves.

And it’s exactly at that moment, as it should in every situation, that careful observation will have to take place in order to find the needs of people who are at the most risk, of the most vulnerable businesses, and of those who need help the most.

This topic is certainly not new, as it’s already been openly addressed (for example, here), but week by week, hand in hand with the realization of the damage caused by the global pandemic, it may be useful to retrace the possible scenarios that will affect an entire sector, not only in terms of women’s football but in regards to the players themselves.

So, what are we going to lose? In the worst-case scenario, it will be the players themselves

If we think about certain hypotheses, then it is easy to understand how such a scenario would be considered extreme. But it is not impossible. First and foremost, it is not a crime to admit that the women’s teams could be the first lamb sacrificed by clubs that are forced to cut their losses, and we will do so without mentioning the names of the clubs that - today more than yesterday - will find themselves fighting for their survival. In fact, we can’t omit the fact that this is a scenario that will lead to a slight watershed moment for the clubs and companies with their backs against the wall: “We can’t continue this way, either we cut [our losses] or we will be forced to stop everything.”

In addition to this, the incredible amount of progress made by women’s football in recent years could suffer an abrupt slowdown, if one removes a crucial factor that has always been recognized as decisive (for its growth): visibility. Visibility on the international stage, and in the most common scenario. Working to affirm the value of women’s football has always meant working with the community that supports it, in order to win over the skeptics and to show the hidden potential of the sport.

Eliminating the ability to ‘demonstrate’ this, means that what will be left (for the women) will be very little, given the limited, shared ground available. And even if you focus on the importance of the movement and the common values [it shares with others], then it would definitely be a good attempt, however, it would (also) have little to do with football.

We do not know how long this situation will last for - as each day is contingent in a different way - but what we do know is that it will be good to get to the gate prepared [be ready for the season to start again] without the pretense of simply being able to pick up where we left off.

- Lucia Pirola