Here's a tip for the dissatisfied women footballers of the world.

If Fifa is the misogynist devil you portray it to be, set up your own world football organisation and get on with making the women's game all you think it can be. If you are free to think and act for yourselves, women's football can find avenues Fifa is incapable of travelling down. Design your own future, and maybe even redesign the actual game.

Sportspeople with a genuine gripe and a bold new vision - think league, cricket, darts, league again - have split from their rulers down the years with interesting and positive results.

Sepp Blatter's Fifa is copping it from all sides again, this time for daring to run the women's World Cup on artificial surfaces in Canada next year. At a pre-draw press conference in Ottawa at the weekend, Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke refused to be cowed, which of course will only lead to more anti-Fifa ire.


Leading women players are taking Fifa to a human rights tribunal alleging gender discrimination because men - they claim - would never be subjected to the same, which draws a wee giggle.

The men have indeed experienced weird Fifa behaviour, such as lumping them with a new and erratic football on the eve of a World Cup. They may also have to play in Qatar because ... well, we won't go there. In an ironic defence, Fifa could use evidence of how crazy it can be.

Fifa has expanded the women's tournament and raised the prizemoney but Blatter could help an old lady across the road and he'd be accused of holding up the traffic.

There is also a simmering resentment in women's sport about its treatment which sometimes manifests itself in wanting to prove it is the equal of men. Genetics makes this impossible, especially in viewing terms for team sport.

The vast majority of women's football is for family and friends. Nature ain't always fair, and no amount of nurture will change that. What next? The world's top juniors could complain about playing in backwater New Zealand next year, alleging ageism.

As with almost all team sport, top-level women's football will never be as good to watch as top-level men's football as we know it. Men are stronger and more dynamic. Call me a sexist pig, but the A-League - which isn't exactly world class - is better to watch than any women's football I've seen.

Professional sports watching isn't an exercise in human rights. People like what they like, spend their money on what they want to, and are drawn to the best.

Canada launched the only proper bid for next year's tournament and Fifa went for the human-made turf option. Without getting bogged down in the argument, there were weather-related reasons, legitimate or not according to your viewpoint.


This so-called travesty has inevitably highlighted anecdotes from within the halls of football power revealing a game dominated by men since the year dot is still dominated by male-oriented thinking. Wow!

The artificial surface - no matter how the decision was reached - was an interesting option, a point of difference, something the less physical women's game could make the most of. It's nonsense trying to compare it to the men's tournament, which is in a different universe to everything else in sport apart from the multi-event Olympics. But no, it's off to court on a principle that won't really change anything.