Last week, Swiss club FC Basel celebrated their 125th anniversary. This week, that same event has sparked huge outrage.
To celebrate 125 years since they were founded, the club held a celebratory gala. The men’s team was invited to the event, enjoying a three-course meal during the celebrations. Unfortunately, the women’s team didn’t enjoy the same experience.
Were they invited as guests to the gala? No. Did they enjoy a three-course meal? No. So what did they do? They were selling raffle tickets to over 1,000 guests, working hard for the event. They were then packed into a separate room and given sandwiches to eat.
Originally reported by Basel-based magazine Prime News, the women’s team had assumed that they would be invited to the anniversary celebrations, especially after the day’s training was cancelled. However, they arrived at the event to find out they were instead working. The club claimed that the women were happy to help.
Swiss politician Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter is a big FC Basel fan, who goes to all matches home and away. Speaking to CNN Sport, she said: “It’s really astonishing. I’m also astonished about the reaction of the young women that they didn’t say anything about that.
“I can imagine they are too young to see there could be a problem. I think football is a little bit of a macho sport and the fans are also a little bit macho.”
I have a soft spot for Basel, as my first ever football game was at St. Jakob Park seven years ago. However, this is truly unacceptable. It is an absolute disgrace, and now I can’t help but label the club the sexists of Switzerland.
In the last couple of years, football has made huge strides in promoting equality in the sport. This is especially aimed towards women playing football, and although sexism in the sport still exists there is far more equality.
However, to hear this news from Switzerland is just utterly shocking. To think that this is happening not only in 2018, but from one of Switzerland’s biggest football clubs, is hard to believe. The club now face a huge challenge, as they must aim to redeem themselves. Nevertheless, this will surely tarnish FC Basel’s image.