A delegation of women’s football teams accompanied by Akel MP Skevi Koukouma met the head of the Cyprus Sports Organisaion (KOA) Andreas Michaelides on Friday to discuss the problems and discrimination faced by women footballers.
The women said there is a need to improve sports facilities so that athletes can safely compete while the infrastructure at stadiums should be improved.
Financial support to federations and sports teams and the promotion of sport development among women and girls through the education system were also discussed.
The women voiced the opinion that the government is unprepared for women’s football and noted KOA and the gender equality committee should focus on equal treatment and equal opportunities for all football players.
Koukouma also spoke about the volleyball team of the Apostolos Pavlos lyceum in Limassol and the education ministry’s decision to reject their bid to participate in the World Volleyball Student Championship in Brazil. A boy’s team received state help to compete in the same event but the girls were told there was no money to send them.
“It is expected that the ministry of education will have second thoughts and will not continue to discriminate against women and girls in sport on the pretext of the cost of participation,” Koukouma said.
This is not the first time the problems were debated.
The enormous differences in salaries, the failure to provide basic equipment and the fact that women’s clubs and footballers are training and playing in lower league stadiums were some of the human rights and equal opportunities committee’s main findings which were discussed in the House in January.
It was said that women footballers are not even provided with proper uniforms for training.