FIFA is balls-deep (pun intended) in one of the biggest corruption scandals it has ever dealt with, and they have a pretty terrible track record when it comes to gender equality. Matches at the upcoming Women’s World Cup, for example, will be played on artificial turf because FIFA claimed there wasn’t enough money to play on natural grass fields. (Meanwhile, FIFA has over 1 billion dollars in reserve money, despite considering themselves a non-profit organization…)
In 2004, when a journalist asked FIFA President Joseph Blatter how women’s soccer could be made more attractive, he suggested the players wear tighter shorts.
So today’s announcement that EA Sports’ FIFA 16 will feature women’s teams for the very first time is an exciting victory for a sport in which “macho” culture is still pervasive. The game will launch in September, and it will be a great opportunity for gamers to get familiar with the many stars of women’s soccer: Alex Morgan of the United States, Brazil’s Marta, and Spain’s Veronica Boquete, to name a few.
Overall, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Of course, there were a bunch of dickheads who freaked out at the inclusion of women – but they’re probably just scared because they’ve never scored with a woman before…