Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson for July 22, 2019

Newsy IX: Argentina and 2023, Press explains, Interview with Sarai Bareman

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On Argentina and 2023 calendar

This is kind of a mixed bag for the IX, gonna hit on a couple of newsy things before I head off to Mexico for a much needed family vacation with my kids and go on radio silence, so to speak.

First, I was saddened to see more issues with the Argentine women’s team, especially after its encouraging showing at the World Cup. The team’s first-ever point in the competition came with a gutsy group stage performance against Japan. And afterward, coach Carlos Borrello made a heartfelt plea about how he hoped the performance would change minds back home. AP’s Jerome Pugmire wrote about it here.

Then the team gets back home and Borrello puts out his roster for the Pan America games in Lima and a bunch of names are conspicuously absent, like captain Estefanía Banini, who took to Instagram to explain that the team had decided they wanted to go to the next level with coaches who would foster that belief and added resources. Borello apparently wasn’t pleased.

This is a disappointing development for a team that many thought had a good chance of turning a corner after the World Cup. But instead, Argentina appears to have taken a step back. Pablo Alabarces and Brenda Elsey wrote about the situation for The Equalizer.

Issue two for this week is FIFA’s schedule for 2023 shows that the Women’s World Cup will fall between July 10 and August 20. So a later start and finish than in recent editions. FIFA President Gianni Infantino proposed expanding the field to 32 teams (along with doubling the prize money.)

Nine nations have indicated they are interested in the event. Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, which could bid with North Korea.

The formal bids are due Oct. 4. The FIFA Council will vote to award the event in March.

So basically, mark your calendars but you can’t book your travel just yet. For next week’s The IX, please let me know where you’d like to see the next World Cup and why. Email me at or my DMs are open on Twitter.

I was going to also talk about the Christen Press/Barstool thingy, but much wiser people than me have written about it! See the links. Glad Press addressed it.

This Week in Women’s Soccer

Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me!

As I went to press, so to speak, a little breaking news out of Brazil: The second Vadao era is done. Ooohhhhh, let the Sundhage rumors commence!

Shireen Ahmed addresses the issue of Christen Press’ deal with Barstool. Press was asked about it and addressed it here. (Thanks to Alex Vejar of the Salt Lake Tribune.)

Press had opted out of a press conference with her World Cup teammates four days before. Here’s the SLC story with the update.

Meg Linehan talked to Laura Harvey about capitalizing on the World Cup bump for The Athletic.

Rose Lavelle meets Rose Lavelle! I love this story!

Jeff Kassouf welcomes back the NWSL for The Equalizer.

Jonathan Tannenwald profiles broadcaster Marisa Pilla.

The Chicago Tribune gets in on NWSL coverage. Progress.

If you’d like to hate-read an ill-informed, misogynistic, bigoted just plain ignorant take on the USWNT, look no further than The Daily Wire! Actually don’t give them the clicks. It’s trash.

For the Tweet of the Week, please see Deyna’s whole thread. It’s good.

Five at The IX: Sarai Bareman

OK, so while I was in Lyon, FIFA held its first ever Professional Women’s Football Task Force meeting, which seeks to grow the women’s pro game around the globe. The task force was held in conjunction with the release of the 2019 Women’s Football Survey of the organization’s member associations.

I’m still digesting the survey for nuggets of news. There aren’t a lot of comparison figures to the last survey, however, I’d point out the number of federations with active WNT’s grew from 55 percent in 2017 to 73 percent in 2019. One reason for the dip two years ago is that some WNTs go inactive following Olympic qualifying, then pick up again for World Cup qualifying. But if you compare 2015 to 2019, a better representation, nations with active WNTs grew from 66 percent to 73 percent. Which is good! Anyway, here is an excerpt from the media availability with Sarai Bareman, chief women’s football officer for FIFA.

You can also read about it here.

It (the task force) is something that has been in the pipeline for a while. We have nine Standing Committees in FIFA and one of those committees is a stakeholder committee, and that’s where the different stakeholders come together like club representatives, player representatives, member associations, confederations, et cetera. And they actually mandated that a specific task force get set up to look at the professionalization of the women’s game. The history of it actually comes a little bit off the back of an intervention that was made at a FIFA Congress, I think it was the year before last or last year, by the Swedish FA President and he wanted to basically address the Congress of the importance of looking into mechanisms for rewarding of clubs, training clubs, for the women’s game, which is something that until now hasn’t existed. So that was kind of what I would say ignited the idea to set up this task force.

“Because of his intervention, one of the first topics that we will address as a task force is looking at a training reward for women’s football clubs, basically to incentivize and encourage the development of women’s football at the at the grassroots level ,which we know clubs are a big, big part of. So that was exciting. We had we’ve got a lot of different people at the table within that meeting and you’ll see I think in the press release there the names of the different members of the task force.

“And then in addition to that we also have a global survey. So we’ve done this in the past. I think that 2015 was the last one which was prior to my my time where we’ve surveyed all the member associations to try and get an idea of what the current landscape is for the women’s game. So we’ve now renewed that survey.

“We’ve gone a little bit more into detail and a little bit deeper in the type of questions that we’ve asked which is especially important for me and my team because obviously as we are focusing very specifically on the women’s game it’s important that we understand what actually is the landscape, what are we dealing with, what is the baseline. And on an ongoing basis we can monitor how the women’s game evolves. I think it’s important particularly when we have our strategy that we can keep an eye on if it is working. Is it successful? What measures have we done that are working well if it’s not working well? How can we adapt? So having that data now is really important for us and it’s been quite interesting actually to see some of the facts and figures that have been coming in from that survey.

“It’s for me my first senior World Cup and this role women favorite the first senior women’s World Cup since a dedicated division was created for the women’s game. So in that respect we really want to leverage this competition to support us, basically in implementing a lot of the stuff that we’ve developed as part of our strategy. And from a very personal perspective, it’s been an incredible experience as well just seeing everything come together . Once every four years you have this opportunity to showcase the women’s game like no other moment and it’s important that we leverage that so that what happens afterwards really takes advantage of that momentum.”

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Lindsay Gibbs, @Linzsports ThinkProgress
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by Annie Peterson