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This is the soccer player who fights for gender equality in Argentina

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Macarena Sánchez is world news for defending the women's soccer guild and, because of that, receiving death threats

This is the soccer player who fights for gender equality in Argentina

When the UAI Urquiza club informed Macarena Sánchez through its coach Christian Bassedas that they would no longer count on her services for a supposed "low sports performance", nobody or very few imagined the commotion that this soccer player would cause. She has become a problem for the Argentine Soccer Association (AFA) for its constant complaints in favor of better treatment for women who are organized in this sport, until death threats received recently.

Leer en español: Conozca a la futbolista que lucha por la igualdad de género en Argentina

Sanchez had already been a promoter of better conditions for soccer players in Argentina, but her recent acts and accusations generated the current and tense situation she lives. It all began with a tweet as a new year's message in her account of that social network: "For a 2019 national, popular, democratic and feminist. I hope that the feminine soccer is professional and the abortion is legal".

That same day, hours earlier, she had sued her club and the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to recognize her as a "worker" when claiming compensation, according to Mundo Deportivo. This same media added the statements of the athlete in this regard:  I know it is not easy because Justice is very patriarchal here, it is slow. I know it has been like that for a while, but I hope that I will be recognized as a worker and that this will open the doors for all female soccer players to be recognized".

Since then, her name has been around the world: 'Macarena, the one that challenges Argentine football', 'The argentinian women revolution', have been headlines in some Argentinian media, while on the international level The Guardian and the BBC have broadcast the history.

According to the aforementioned media, Macarena played for seven seasons at the UAI Urquiza, and there won four tournaments in Argentina and the bronze medal in the Copa Libertadores 2015. She is currently unemployed because when leaving in the middle of the campaign she can not sign with another club by championship rules.

Also read: 4 women you should know

In the eye of the storm

Many are the complaints made by the 27-year-old soccer player. One of them was: "FIFA allocates millions to the AFA per year for the development of women's football and that money never appears. That money should be earmarked for the development of the tournament, to the national team, "was another of the complaints he made, just in the year in which his country will play the Women's World Cup in France, Mundo Deportivo added.

"It's not just my case, behind my case is full of problems that women's football has. We urgently need something that protects us, to be part of the union of Argentine Football Players, and that the AFA recognize us, "she said in turn, in statements compiled by El Comercio.

La Izquierda Diario reported that Sánchez's case sparked a debate that is already of international interest and that she himself asked questions such as: Why is soccer not played by women? Why is not it remunerated just like it is for male soccer players?, a condition that would allow the female sector to focus on soccer as a true profession.

Threatened to death

The soccer player unveiled with some screenshots of her social networks the nasty and cowardly death threats received because of what she have unleashed their statements. They were the images of a revolver plus blood on the floor and the phrases: "There are many people angry about your complaints" and "There is a lot of money in your head. You will die soon."

In this regard, Macarena did not hesitate to assure La Izquierda Diario: "I have been playing soccer for 20 years. I always experienced exclusion and discrimination. Since I started the denunciation of public knowledge I do not stop receiving messages with insults and grievances, but everything has a limit. Today this message came to me." The complaints caused an echo of many media outlets in Argentina.

The Sports Club UAI Urquiza was wrong in every way since it did not support Macarena. In fact, through a press release, it gave greater importance to their version of the conflict they have with the player, than what happened in her personal life. There were no words of repudiation even in relation to the threats she received.

According to La Izquierda Diario, the club never responded to the legal claims of the legal firm that advises the soccer player through the corresponding channels, and it is possible that this is why they have not positioned themselves around the aforementioned messages that Sánchez received.

Closer to the objectives?

The claims of Macarena Sánchez have triggered an institutional crisis that is hitting even more the critical Argentine Football Association (AFA) and of course the club itself. The best example of this is that, recently spread the news, the head of the Women's Soccer Commission of AFA, Ricardo Pinela, who also serves as vice president of UAI Urquiza club, resigned to the first position mentioned.

In an interview with EFE that was reviewed by El Comercio, Sánchez said: "I hope to be recognized as a professional player. I know it is not easy because justice is very patriarchal here is slow. But I hope to be recognized as a worker and that opens the doors for all footballers. "

El Comercio explains that, in Argentina, female soccer palyers not only do not charge to play, but have to pay for themselves the club's social fee, and other expenses such as uniforms, or ambulances, according to the requirements of the AFA, and in case it was not enough to combine it with university studies.

Finally, in a program of Fox Sports she declared that the professionalization of women's soccer must be from the country itself and not from abroad. She also assured that many of the masculine categories in the Argentine soccer give losses and that figures like Juan Pablo Sorín and Nahuel Guzmán have offered support her in the subject.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

Translated from "Conozca la futbolista que lucha por la igualdad de género en Argentina"

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