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‘If you don’t like it, don’t follow it’: Female footballers in gender pay & equality row after U15s boys’ team thrash adult women

‘If you don’t like it, don’t follow it’: Female footballers in gender pay & equality row after U15s boys’ team thrash adult women
A sexism row has broken out after a women's football team at a top Spanish club was thrashed 6-0 by a youth side, leading to misogynistic comments and a furious response from a female player.

Athletic Club's Cadete A team, which covers the under-14s-to-15s age group, dished out a 6-0 humbling to the feminino adult women's team on Wednesday morning.

The Cantera de Lezema page, which champions the La Liga giants' academy, tweeted the result to its 15,000 followers, leading to the women being ridiculed over everything from their fight for equal pay to their quality compared to their male counterparts.

"Here you have the reality," claimed one critic of the heavy defeat. "Then you go out to speak and ask to be paid like [Lionel] Messi or say, 'I do not know why there is a salary gap.'"

On the other side of the ball, a reader said: "I wonder what need there was to play this game and publish the result".

Another remarked: "It's a shame that a club that boasts so many 'values' is dedicated to propagating machismo in this way."

The furor eventually caught the attention of Atletico Madrid ace Virginia Torrecilla, who waded into the row and attempted to put a few unsavory members of the public in their place.

Starting with one joker who had poked fun at the outcome, she asked her 38,000 followers: "Can you tell me what to do with this individual? Please: why is my f*cking patience running out?

"Play with your colleagues, the 'drunks' and see if you win against the 14-year-olds. This is always the same. If you don't like women's football, don't follow it – period."

A local journalist who recently commentated on the Olympics joined in and attempted to clarify the stance many women and their supporters take.

"For the millionth time, [female] footballers do not demand to [earn] the same [salaries] as [male] footballers.

"They ask for equal opportunities for the dignified development of their sport. To have the possibility and the means to reach their maximum [level]."

The debate had echoes of a saga in 2017 when US team FC Dallas reported that their boys' under-15s academy team had beaten the US Women's National Team (USWNT) – who won the 2015 and 2019 World Cup finals – 5-2 in a friendly.

The USWNT has been embroiled in a long-running campaign to agree equal pay with the United States Soccer Federation, with a documentary on the issue, featuring the likes of star winger Megan Rapinoe, recently released.

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