Wednesday, 10 December 2008 8:04 AM

Women's Football Important as Men's Football: Staab

Women's football development is hindered by society, according to visiting consultant from the Football International Federation Association [FIFA], Monika Staab.

Ms. Staab who arrived in the country Monday told Solomon Times that the purpose to her visit to Solomon Islands is to analyze how women's football federation sort their organization and how FIFA can come in to help develop women's football.

She said that one obstruction which stops women from developing in soccer was that they are not accepted by the society.

"Soccer has always been known to be men's sport so to have women playing the game is still not acceptable," she added.

Apart from visiting the Solomons, Ms. Staab has visited 30 countries since joining FIFA in 2007 in attempts to find ways in developing women's football.

"More than 30 million women are playing soccer worldwide so this change should be accepted readily as things change over time," she said.

Ms. Staab said that sports has a lot of positive impact including good health, building on self confidence, the feeling of success a the end of a good game and it motivates the athlete.

She stressed that women who want to venture into playing soccer should not be prevented to do so.

She urged women who are interested in playing soccer to work hard and get something out of it.

"These women should be allowed the freedom to do what they want to do, and this includes being involved in soccer," Ms. Staab added.

She said that instead of giving negative comments, men should be ahead in encouraging interested women.

Quoting the FIFA President on his statement that "future in football is family", Ms. Staab said that men and women should work together to develop soccer in the Solomons.

Ms. Staab is a woman pioneer in football and "I have been in football for 40 years now".

The FIFA consultant, Ms. Staab, will be in the country for a week, visiting various places in town to see what women have been doing so far with regards to football.

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