Kosovo's female football players fight against prejudice

Women in Kosovo often get told that football is not for them. But the success of women footballers  is challenging the traditional perception of this game and gender roles. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Kosovo's female football players fight against prejudice - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Many Kosovars think girls and women have mixed feelings about women plying football, seeing it as a "male sport." Even Mitrovica’s coach Seid Onbashi thought so, Prishtina Insight reported.

“At the beginning it felt a bit weird coaching women,” he confesses. “I didn’t know that women played football here in Kosovo!”

Onbashi's perceptions has changed in the meantime, but institutional support for women footballers is still smaller than for male football clubs. "From the TV rights package that the Football Federation of Kosovo sold in 2017, only 6,000 of the 250,000 euros went to women’s football," Prishtina Insight reported. 

But along the success of women footballers and increase of number of women playing football, the society is starting to open up. “I think it can serve as a basis to strengthen the position of women in Kosovar society,” Aferdita Fazlija, the coach of Kosovo’s women’s national team told Prishtina Insight. 

Details from the story:

  • In 2010, Fatmire Alushi was ranked the third best female football player in the world. She had won the World Cup in 2007 with Germany and was European Champion two times -- in 2009 and 2013.
  • Kosovare Asllani recently became one of the first women footballers to be honored with a statue for her contributions to the Swedish national team.
  • Despite the success, female football league in Kosovo lacks financial support and infrastructure. One of the biggest challenges is tackling social prejudices against women footballers. 

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

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