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Women’s football stars Jess Fishlock and Nilla Fischer tackle politics in women’s football

UEFA united Wales’ top capped player Jess Fishlock and Sweden international Nilla Fischer tackled the topic of politics in women’s football as the pair shared their personal experiences to educate young aspiring female footballers on The Football Podcast by Together #WePlayStrong.

Throughout an open and upfront episode, Jess and Nilla discussed the broad spectrum of issues that footballers use their platform to project and discuss how beneficial it is for the cause. The pair joined host, Rocky Hehakaija, to connect the female football community by placing politics under the spotlight, providing support, advice and inspiration for future generations of players.

Highlighting the political struggles both Nilla and Jess have battled throughout their careers, the following discussion points were raised:

Nilla Fischer highlights how current and past generations of players have strived to deliver a legacy for young aspiring footballers: “With the struggle that we have had in the women’s game we, ourselves, brought it forward. Now to a certain level we want to have even more and be even better. I don’t want the next generation to feel like they can’t dream big because they can due to a lot of players, like us, who took the struggle by not being quiet and saying what we want to say.”

Speaking about the perception of footballers who use their platforms to project views, Jess Fishlock adds: “We are human beings before we are athletes, so I feel like who I am as a human comes before who I am as an athlete. I feel empowered because I believe in who I am as a human and I don’t get deterred by that.”
Whilst demanding that players continue to drive the game forward, Jess and Nilla made the following statements.


Nilla expressed: “We are brought up like we are supposed to be thankful, loyal and happy with what we have because that’s what you deserve, however, women never had the chance to vote by being quiet, we didn’t get the chance to work by being quiet. It is a fight; it is a struggle. I think that’s one of the barriers that I found hard and knowing if I speak up now, I will face a lot of hate on social media which isn’t always easy to handle.”

Jess added: “You’re always taught to be happy with what you have, not to say anything and you just be thankful – well absolutely not. No, I’m not thankful, this is just the bare minimum – the basic – and the very least of what we should be having.”
The players also unite to share their opinions on using their platforms to help evolve the women’s game:

Jess expresses her thoughts on the responsibilities that come with having a platform: “If I wasn’t an athlete and I didn’t have the platform that I do, my views would be exactly the same. I am a human being and it’s what I believe in. I just happen to be an athlete now which therefore means I have a bigger platform and I am using that to help (project) my views and allow people to think or feel differently.”

Nilla added: “I don’t want to sit down after my career and think how I could have helped someone, done more or could have reached ‘this’ far but I never said anything – I would be so disappointed in myself. I know I’m lucky to play the game, but I don’t want to play for zero dollars a month – we should have all the possibilities to play soccer.
The full episode of ‘The One Where We Should Stay Out of Politics’ is available to view on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. 

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