The coordinator for women's soccer for the Confederation of Brazilian Football told The Globe and Mail that the women's game has improved because players are “getting more beautiful” and “putting on makeup.”
The Brazil women's national team, captained by five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta, is currently playing in the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada. The squad made the quarterfinals in the 2011 Women's World Cup and has won the last two Copa América Femenina competitions.
Marco Aurelio Cunha addressed the lack of fan interest in women's soccer in Brazil as compared to men's soccer by suggesting it may become more popular in the country thanks to more of a focus on the “femininity” of the players.
“Women’s football used to copy men’s football,” said Cunha. “Even the jersey model, it was more masculine. We used to dress the girls as boys. So the team lacked a spirit of elegance, femininity. Now the shorts are a bit shorter, the hair styles are more done up. It’s not a woman dressed as a man.”
The head of Brazil’s leading sports-development consultancy told The Globe and Mail that there is “no interest” from fans in Brazil in women's soccer, creating a “vicious circle” when it comes to the game being publicized.
“There is no interest from fans, so there is no interest from TV, so there is no interest for sponsors. It’s hard to say which comes first. Maybe the fan comes first, because male football has a monopoly over the fan,” said Fernando Ferreira.
Brazil (2–0–0) next plays Costa Rica on Wednesday in Group E play. It has already clinched a spot in the knockout stage.
- Molly Geary