Sports 06/03/2021

"The candidates are not guilty of not knowing the Barça women players"

The three projects agree that the creation of the Masia for women is key for the future of the team

3 min
Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa i Víctor Font mirant les pàgines de l'ARA amb una fotografia de l'equip femení del Barça ocupant el pòster central.

This Sunday's elections are probably the most emotional - and least rational - to date. Barça members value projects not only for the roadmaps presented, but also for the excitement they arouse. And, in addition to the decisions to recover the club's economic stability, the sporting sphere is the one that most worries the Barça fan. In the more than four months that we have been campaigning - counting the pre-campaign and taking into account the postponement of the elections - many different issues have marked the agenda: transfers, appointments, organisational charts... It is a reality that women's sport, which has had some space in this debate, and the ARA, in this final stretch, has wanted to contrast the proposals with those responsible for each candidacy.

The differences between projects are evident, but one point of convergence between the three is the future of the Balaguer coach. "We have total confidence in Lluís Cortés and his team. We have to look at what kind of contract he has and, if necessary, we will redo it or extend it", confirms Jordi Casals, representative of Estimem el Barça. "He and his staff are guaranteed 100% continuity", said Juli López, director general of sports for the Sí al Futur candidacy. Lluís Carreras, sports director of Fidels al Barça, acknowledged that "the continuity of Barça's coaches is being evaluated. The parameters of the game of all the women's teams are in a remarkable-excellent level, so it is very easy for all of them to continue providing not only successes but also players who are likely to make it to the first team one day", he adds.

The video that is making headlines

In the last week, a viral video of the program Està passant on TV3 sparked controversy. In it, most of the candidates did not come out well by not recognizing three of the players of the blaugrana women's team. "Just as we know Messi, we have to know Vicky Losada, Mariana Caldentey... This from the start. I cannot understand how someone who wants to lead Barça does not know the excellent assets that are within the Barça Women's Team", confesses Victor Font's general director of sports, Juli Lopez. The criticism from the networks was harsh, but Lluís Carreras understands that this can happen. "In Barça's grassroots football there are more than 350 players, and if we count the first teams of Koeman and Cortes, practically 500. It is good to know them, because it demonstrates to have knowledge of the means, of what is the Barça and of the players, but it is not an indispensable condition to know the 500", admits the sporting director of Toni Freixa.

In an intermediate position we find Laporta's candidacy. "There are candidates who don't know them because they haven't bothered. I have to admit that since we've been campaigning, I've been following and worrying about how women's football is going", Casals said, although he acknowledged that "it's normal that the members and some candidates don't know all the women's players, because we haven't had enough information". According to the former president of the Catalan Football Federation, the media play an important role in this misinformation. "We believe that it is not treated in the way it deserves. The season that the women's team is having has not been given enough recognition by the media at all levels", he explains. In this aspect, he also agrees with Lluís Carreras: "We are getting used to talking about women's football, but the repercussion it has, and in this the media are very much to blame, is not the same as that of men's football".

The Masia in a female key does not arouse detractors. The three representatives agree that it is a project that must be carried out urgently if the club is to make progress towards parity. Carreras reminds us that it is important for women's football to fit into the Masia, but we have to "think that there are more players from the grassroots who don't live in the Masia than those who do". Juli López even gives a date. "In September next year it will be established. Floor 3 of the Masia can be made exclusively for female athletes and between 13-15 footballers will be able to live 100% in the Masia".

In less than 24 hours we will know the new president of Barça. It will be the moment to see how all these proposals materialise in a team that needs a clear commitment to remain a reference.

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