Even if you’re only a casual soccer watcher, you might’ve noticed a trend emerge during this year’s FIFA World Cup. Whether it was reaction shots in the midst of matches or crowd pans during halftime, broadcasters have seemingly established a certain reliance on featuring as many female fans as possible, who often donned their home nation’s colors and were captured enjoying the spirit of the game. Now, taking a strong stance against sexism, FIFA has publicly condemned the broadcasters for showcasing too many “hot women” on the small screen when they should’ve been focusing on players and coaches instead.
“We’ve done it with individual broadcasters. We’ve done it with our host broadcast services,” FIFA diversity chief Federico Addiechi said, according toThe Hollywood Reporter. In terms of numbers, Addiechi said FIFA has been monitoring all matches and found over 30 cases of this “hot female fan” reliance, according to The Irish Examiner. He also added that while the organization has yet to take on this problem as a “proactive campaign,” they would “take action against things that are wrong” in the meantime. “This is one of the activities we definitely will have in future, it’s a normal evolution,” he said.
As THR notes, this stance from FIFA comes during a World Cup — hosted throughout Russia this year — that’s been met with unexpectedly high amounts of sexism and sexual harassment for female fans and reporters. FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) reported that there have been about 30 cases of female reporters being harassed by fans, according to ESPN. The types of harassment these reporters have experienced while trying to do their jobs include being randomly kissed by men during live reports.
Federico said FIFA has reportedly been working with Russian police to identify men who have allegedly assaulted these female reporters and fans, resulting in these men forfeiting their game tickets and being forced to leave the country, according to The Irish Examiner.