Womens Sport: Republic of Ireland head coach Vera Pauw says the women's game has been left "last in line"

The Republic of Ireland’s national coach Vera Pauw says the handling of the reorganisation of the Women’s Euros 2021 is symptomatic of the way the women’s game is “last in line”.

It was announced last week that the women’s European Championships would be rescheduled for the summer of 2022 after the men’s tournament was moved to the previous dates in 2021.

Speaking to The Irish Times the Dutch former player said the decision to reorganise the Euros after the Olympics, men’s and youth tournaments had been moved showed the women’s game remains “in second place”.

“There must have been reasons for it but I do see that we are the last in line because even the youth development tournaments had been rescheduled before us.

“Even the fact that the men’s tournament was put into the time slot for our tournament without even any discussion with the stakeholders . . . that says in itself that women’s sport needs to adapt to men’s sport. But that is not just in football.”

“I hope that there are really good reasons why it only came so late and probably there will be a moment when we hear that. But let’s not fight that, let’s just focus on the fact that women’s sport is fantastic to watch, fantastic to do and if you see it then it is something young girls can aspire to.”

The 57-year-old’s Ireland side is yet to qualify for the tournament in July of 2022 and is hoping to book her side’s place this autumn in their final three group games. The Republic of Ireland are yet to face their big rivals Germany in their qualifying group and will be hoping to keep a current run of good form to secure their place.

Pauw sees the current suspension of club football as an opportunity for some of her players to recover from injuries picked up during the season and is sure that when football returns, so will the fans.

“If they get back playing, and I hope that they do, I hope that they play as many games as they can given our qualifying programme in the autumn but let’s see first when we can get back playing first; that’s the time to have a discussion about what we do because for the moment, we don’t know, nobody knows when football will start again.”

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