Cases of women receiving unwanted physical attention at football games have doubled

Football match day crowd

The amount of women who experience unwanted physical attention at men's football matches has doubled since 2014.

The number has risen to one in five, according to a Football Supporters' Association survey.

Female match-goers were asked whether they had ever experienced or witnessed sexist behaviour while attending a football fixture.

A total of 44 percent of the 1,913 survey respondents admitted they had been told they 'know a lot about football for a girl/woman' at least once at a match, while 34 percent had heard sexist comments being made. 

The alarming rise in cases of unwanted physical attention at games is now at 20 percent, according to the survey.

The 'Women at the Match' survey also found the majority of participants — 59 percent — want to see clubs condemn those who display sexist behaviour during match days.

There has also been new recorded low of the amount women who are accepting of this kind of behaviour.

Just four percent of women surveyed said they accept sexist behaviour as part of the match day experience — a drop from the 10 percent recorded in 2014. 

In comparison, 75 percent of match-goers who attend women's football fixtures reported they had never heard sexist comments or experienced unwanted physical attention on match days.

Football match day crowd

"There is no place whatsoever at football for sexist or misogynistic behaviour," said FSA board member Ally Simcock. "We'd encourage all supporters to challenge it, and if necessary, report it to their club or the authorities."

Indeed, the rise in reported sexism is disheartening given how well received women have started to become within the men's game.

The consistent punditry appearances from the likes of Alex Scott, Karen Carney, and Fara Williams have become popular among fans as their presence continues to change the game.

Mainstay figures like Gabby Logan and Clare Balding have also dented the stigma that is pushed so mercilessly onto females working in a male-dominated industry.

"I've been going to men's football for a long time now and have heard my share of sexist comments, but a lot has changed recently," Simcock added. "Things like the #MeToo movement have helped change people's perceptions about what they're willing to put up with, and what is or isn't acceptable."

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