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Stick men in goal, Daily Mail says

Columnist sums up women's football

16 Jul 2013

Female goalkeeper scores own goal, so entire gender should be banned from net: the logic of a Daily Mail sports writer.

Adrian Durham, "Sportsmail's spikiest columnist," says the mistake by England's Karen Bardsley during her team's Euro 13 match against Spain on Friday means women goalkeepers should be banned until their sex sorts itself out.

Female netminders should be taken "out of the firing line" to undergo intensive coaching to bring them up to the standard of "outfield players whose game has improved immensely over the past 10-15 years," he writes in his column. In the meantime "stick the men in goal," he advises.

Does that mean England's men's team should also be taken out of the firing line, while they are brought up to the standard of Spain and Germany's outfield players, whose game has also improved immensely over the past 15 years?

And does Durham really believe female goalkeepers aren't receiving the same intensive training as the outfield players?

This job advert for Nottingham Forest would suggest otherwise.

As would a look at these female keepers (including the unfairly maligned Bardsley) earning their keep between the sticks:

"If the women’s game is to progress they need men in goal," Durham declares. "How demotivating and disheartening it must have been for England’s women to work so hard on Friday night only to lose when their keeper came flying off her line, completely flapped and missed, and scored an own goal with her face."

Male goalkeepers, of course, never "flap" when they miss or score an own goal. And perhaps they occasionally hit the ball with their head, but rarely their face.

Or maybe they do. In case Durham needs a reminder, here are some examples of excellent keepers messing up at the highest level:

Peter Shilton, England vs West Germany 1990 World Cup Semi Final

David Seamen, England vs Brazil 2002 World Cup Quarter Final

Oliver Kahn, Germany vs Brazil 2002 World Cup Final

It's natural for netminders to be singled out for criticism but instead of calling out a misjudged cross or a failed take, Durham disrespects Bardsley as a professional, while simultaneously exposing his own entirely sexist views, disguised as informed football commentary.

Are you sick of sexism in sport? Tell us below or on Twitter

Words: Anna Pollitt. Images: Rex Features, Getty Images

Tags: Fair Game

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