Alex Scott and Heineken tackle gender bias in football

Heineken has launched a new campaign to combat gender bias in football which affects both players and fans.

The mission is to tackle gender inequality in football by addressing how female players are often treated unfairly compared to their male counterparts.

One step to close this gap is to correct misinformation and inaccurate statistics online. To achieve this, Heineken has launched a new webpage, Fresher Football, which offers answers to frequently asked questions about the UEFA Champions League, taking into account men’s and women’s statistics.

Sporting the slogan: “the only page where football statistics are gender-neutral”, Fresher Football provides accurate information in lists including “players who have won the most titles” and “players who have scored most final goals”.

Sarah Bouhaddi and Conny Pohlers top these lists respectively, and many other iconic women are also celebrated for their European achievements.

Fresher Football urges search engines and fan sites to edit any information that is factually incorrect due to the lack of recognition of women’s football.

Arsenal legends Alex Scott and Thierry Henry have joined the movement to help eliminate gender bias and promote a fairer and more informed space online.

Scott – whose Champions League victory with Arsenal Women in 2007 often goes unnoticed by search engines – spoke with VERSUS about the new Heineken campaign and the impact of gender barriers on women’s football over the years.

VERSUS: Tell us a bit more about Heineken’s new campaign and your involvement.

Alex Scott: Being part of this campaign meant a lot to me. It is truly heartwarming to see the increased support and commitment for greater inclusion in the game. I am happy to be part of a campaign designed to bring people together around the sport, while challenging the stereotypes that exist in the game. soccer.

Heineken is trying to increase inclusiveness in football, starting with the gender biases that exist when it comes to football statistics. Sometimes the female game is overlooked which can be the cause of the bias. Thierry and I starred in ‘The Greatest Goal’ video which shows exactly that.

People often forget that the Arsenal women’s team has already won the UEFA Champions League!

The aim – by tackling inaccurate statistics – is to break down the barriers between men’s and women’s football. Have you noticed an improvement in the perception of women’s football over the last ten years?

I have always believed that everyone has the right to practice the sport they love and that no one should be left behind.

Throughout my football career, I have certainly seen an increase in support and respect for women’s football. Especially in the past two years, there have been major advances towards equality for women’s football.

Take for example the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-final in Barcelona. Not only was the atmosphere electric, but there was a record crowd there supporting these athletes, which was amazing to see.

What key moments can you identify in both your career as a player and as a presenter that you think shaped the way women’s football is viewed?

It would be the goal in 2007 to win the UEFA Champions League for Arsenal. This is the biggest goal of my career and it’s wonderful to see this moment defended in the Heineken content that Thierry and I have filmed for this campaign. Since I’ve moved on to television, it’s been wonderful to see other women having opportunities and showing off their knowledge of the game.

Stats and analysis have become such an important part of football, how do you think women’s football will develop with greater access to this type of data?

With this campaign and the Fresher Football website, Heineken wants to challenge but also encourage search engines to include gender-neutral data when providing an answer relating to the UEFA Champions League. These types of campaigns will hopefully allow more people to be aware of the achievements of female athletes, leading to better representation and inclusion of women in football.

When we talk about pushing for a more equal game, do you think things like access to stats and data in the women’s game are sometimes overlooked?

Women’s football statistics and data allow those who have achieved incredible things in sport to have their achievements recognized, regardless of gender.

For example, the fact that two women have played in more UEFA Champions League finals than any one male player is probably not known to many people.

How extensive of women’s stats did you know existed during your playing days and would you like the more analytical side of women’s football to be more accessible to you and others?

I think it’s a question of representation. This campaign aims to recognize the achievements of everyone in football, regardless of gender. I hope that seeing the achievements of men and women equally represented will inspire everyone to get involved in football, regardless of your gender.

How important is it that men’s footballing legends like Thierry Henry also promote the importance of equality?

It’s nice to see male allies advocating to minimize bias. This is essential if we want to change people’s perceptions. An endorsement by Thierry Henry means a lot because it illustrates that we are not alone in this situation. We have allies pushing for better representation.

“Knowing the data behind the sport allows us to recognize and defend those who have achieved so much.”

One of the incorrect online stats Heineken has highlighted claims that Arsenal have never won the Champions League. Sure, you scored the winning goal in the 2007 final for the Gunners, how does it feel to you that search engines don’t take women’s achievements into account?

Often, gender bias in football stems from inaccurate information or data about women’s football that has been overlooked. An example is the one you mention, but also around the top 10 scorers, or most
decorated players in history.

It is so important that female players are represented as much as male players to achieve equality in the game. Hopefully campaigns like this and sites like Fresher Football will help increase female representation.

As a presenter, how important are stats when it comes to talking more in depth about players and teams?

Statistics allow us to analyze matches, players and teams in an unbiased way and to better understand why certain aspects of the game are more important than they seem. Knowing the data behind the sport also allows us to recognize and champion those who have achieved so much in our sport.

Do you think this new campaign will help broaden the reach of women’s football and in turn attract new viewers, fans and subscribers?

For me, this campaign aims to show that everyone has the right to practice the sport they love, whether they are fans or players. Sport is sport, and it instills such passion in so many people! Anything that tries to tackle barriers to entry for people – anyone – is exciting and worth getting involved with!

Comments are closed.