England women's football team are very different from the men's

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Last night the England Women's football team suffered agonising heartbreak at the hands of the Japanese as an own goal of ludicrous misfortune, in the dying seconds of normal time, gave the victors an undeserved 2-1 win.

It was the first time the England Women's team had reached the semi-final of a World Cup, and they truly did do our country proud. There were spectacular goals, Lucy Bronze's thunderbolt against Canada comes to mind, cool heads, Fara Williams scoring two crucial penalties against Columbia and Japan, and a team spirit and passion that clearly ran through everyone from the backroom staff to the manager, and from the subs to the starting eleven.

However despite their undoubted success, I was irritated by the media's constant comparisons made with the England Men's side, which became especially prevalent after the quarter-final victory over hosts Canada, with highlight reels of Gary Lineker scoring and Paul Gascoigne crying, in a somewhat prescient move.


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Now I'm sure many people will jump on the 'shut up you sexist' bandwagon, but just think for a moment and try and pick out another sport in which the men and women that compete in their separate categories are so stringently compared.

The only example that I can think of was when there was a flutter of an idea that Andy Murray would play Serena Williams in Las Vegas back in 2013.

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That idea was swiftly put to bed after Serena Williams, winner of an outrageous 20 Grand Slams and most probably the greatest woman to ever play the game, said: "I doubt I'd win a point, but that would be fun", before adding, "I get alleys. He gets no serves. I get alleys on my serve too."

Clearly, to Serena Williams, the idea that this match could seriously happen was ridiculous, and many tennis pros even went as far as to say that she wouldn't even be a match for the 350th ranked player on the men's tour.

Now before you accuse me of blindly bashing women's sport for the sake of it, this is my point.

Women's and men's sport is very different

Women's sport and men's sport is completely different, and the successes of women's sports teams and individuals should not be bracketed into the same successes men achieve, not only because it's a completely inaccurate comparison, but because it actually diminishes the achievements of those women.

When Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won 100m gold at the London Olympics, there was no clamour for her to race the men's winner, Usain Bolt.

When Victoria Pendleton won gold in the Velodrome nobody tried to compare her to Sir Chris Hoy or Sir Bradley Wiggins.

When the England Women's Rugby team won the World Cup last year, there were no comparisons with the men's win in 2003 and certainly no potential for a genuine match-up.

Each individual, and each team, were given the plaudits and recognition they deserved, and any comparisons made, were done so within the gender parameters of each sport.

So why in football is there this absurd attempt to convince people that the men's England team, and the women's England team are somehow the same.

This group of women have made history in becoming the first to reach a Women's World Cup semi-final. This, on its own should be celebrated. Stop saying it's the third time England have reached the semi-finals of a world cup, it's wrong, and it detracts from their accomplishments.

The England team is the England men's team, and this is not a sexist remark, it is because it is the most supported team in the country.

So instead of adhering to this bizarre form of politically correct nonsense, can we please forget about the men's team for a moment, celebrate and congratulate The Lionesses on a fantastic World Cup campaign in which they have made history and done this country proud, and next year we can support The Lions in their bid to win Euro 2016.

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