Alex Scott: Fabio Capello’s small-minded opinions on women’s football are outdated and damaging to the game

By | 22nd February 2020
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FABIO CAPELLO’S comments about making goals and pitches smaller for women’s football are just disrespectful, in my opinion.

The former England manager said: “I think the goal is too big for women and that the pitch is too wide.

Fabio Capello weighed in with his opinion on women’s football
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“When they play basketball and volleyball, they lower the net because they are not tall like men.

“I think the size of the goals makes it really difficult for the keeper – because in football you have to jump.”

Any talk like this is just rubbish because last year’s World Cup and the WSL in recent years has showcased just how far the quality has progressed.

I’m thrilled to know Capello watched some of the Women’s World Cup – it’s brilliant such a respected figure in the men’s game was supporting the women.

But I would love to ask him how much he has actually studied the women’s game, or how much of it he’s actually seen for him to make such a bold statement. For me, it’s a throwaway comment from someone that, over the past years, hasn’t seen the drastic improvement in women’s goalkeeping.

His view is based off an old, outdated judgement from when the game wasn’t professional and the standard wasn’t there.

This whole debate on whether we should change the goal sizes is just laughable, all it does is hinder us in our fight for equality with the men’s game.

Chelsea’s Beth England told me: “The quality and level of the keepers in this league is high, some of them have pulled off phenomenal saves. I think talk of making goals smaller is disrespectful to them and what they can reach and their talents.

Smaller goals would also damage the product for our fans, who want the game to be entertaining. We all know goals are what make games exciting.


Alex Scott on the debate over making goals smaller in women's football matches

“I feel like it would make us seem less than the men and we’ve been trying so hard to fight to be as equal as we can.”

Instead of talking about adjusting things like goal sizes, why don’t we have a serious conversation about how we can improve this area and move forward.

In previous years, there wasn’t much investment in goalkeeping and if you went around to most clubs and asked the keepers how much one-on-one coaching they had, it would be small.

But it has come on in leaps and bounds.

For instance, Arsenal employed ex-England keeper Leanne Hall, which shows how seriously it’s taken now.

Smaller goals would also damage the product for our fans, who want the game to be entertaining.

We all know goals are what make games exciting.

A lot of aspects in the women’s game may still be behind the men’s but it doesn’t mean we alter things.

It means we push on and carry on fighting to be on a par, because it all comes down to investment.

During the France World Cup, Hope agreed with me that we were seeing an outstanding and improved level of goalkeeping. So it’s a massive shame that Fabio Capello’s comments undermine that.


Alex Scott on the improving standard of goalkeepers in the women's game

The WSL may not have had the best standard of keepers because the funding wasn’t there.

But since it turned into a fully professional league two years ago, the quality of goalkeeping has increased.

For me, former USA keeper Hope Solo has been outstanding over the years.

Hopefully, at the next World Cup, we will see more coming through the ranks.

For years Hope Solo set the standard between the sticks
AP:Associated Press


Like Manchester City’s 20-year-old Ellie Roebuck, who has loads of promise.

During the France World Cup, Hope agreed with me that we were seeing an outstanding and improved level of goalkeeping.

So it’s a massive shame that Fabio Capello’s comments undermine that.

Ellie Roebuck is a bright young prospect at Manchester City
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This post written by Etienne Fermie originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.

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