Orive, president of the AJFSF: “There are no arguments not to organize the World Cup”

Natalia Orive Siviter (Birmingham, UK, May 21, 1988) She has been fighting for the rights of female futsal players practically all her life. He spent 15 years in the Alcorcón FSF. He went through Colmenarejo and Leganés before hanging up the ‘shoes’. He then decided that it was time to fight from outside the tracks for his teammates. In 2010, the Association of Women’s Futsal Players (AJFSF) was created. to improve the lives of the players who, for many years, have claimed their right to be able to compete in an official World Cup. Orive is the president of the Association and the voice of the players who have decided to take the final step so that FIFA begins to take them into account. After years of struggle, it is time to say things clearly. Natalia spoke with AS after launching a video in which they explain the need and the right of their sport to be able to play in a World Cup.

“They have left us out. We are nowhere. They create competitions and do not count on us, who is responsible? Orive explained. The situation after years is limit and this is how the players he represents feel: “The time has come when we have said that enough is enough. We play this sport, we need a space because we are being deprived of it”.

And it is that women’s futsal is missing from FIFA: “We don’t even appear on the FIFA website,” he tells us. “There is an investment to play soccer, kick a ball, you can play in schools or parks… then you choose soccer or futsal, but We don’t have spaces, we don’t have lower categories, nothing, not even the absolute… while in football yes “, reflects and explains the discomfort: “For example, UEFA and Disney also promote soccer so that girls between the ages of 8 and 15 can play, and futsal? Girls who want to play hall have no right”. Because in recent years women’s football has experienced great growth, but what about futsal? “There are programs and plans, and we nothing. Not well. What is happening is not normal and they pretend that nothing is happening. You work very well, but it doesn’t mean you completely abandon the discipline of futsal”.

“You are empowering women in football and as a person in charge you also have futsal among your estates, what about the women who practice them? There is no longer equality there, what about the ethical codes of good governance? Do you skip them?” sentenced. Reason is not lacking, because since 2015 the AJFSF has been trying to get FIFA to organize the World Cup, but they turn a deaf ear to its claims: “We have been preparing for a long time, since last year we resumed the campaign coinciding with the Men’s World Cup.” It has not been the only one and they have been preparing a global campaign for a year so that, finally, their claims are heard: “After that action we knew that we could not stay here, we had to continue. We have done a specific analysis, we spoke with FIFA, an international presentation and in the end we made the video gathering from all the countries… it’s crazy. We managed after many months to do it. There is a lot of work here…”

The video in which they denounce the discrimination has had more than 150 reproductions: “It is a video at the height of a sports advertisement for big brands. It is worth it and it is necessary for what we ask for and to show that we are serious. We are organized and united, in contact with each other from different countries and we exist. We want to be the loudspeaker and support female players around the world.” And it is that the growth of women’s football and the non-option to be able to compete in futsal causes many players to choose to change sports: “If I can’t grow and develop in my sport, they end up going to the women’s because their projection in the room is cut. There is no development and we need it. An investment and a strategic plan”. Of course, he is clear that it will not be like football: “Obviously we are not going to become like football, it is not a comparison. But they have made a plan to promote it and for it to grow from girls and that is what we need.”

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Another problem with the lack of competitions is the lack of national teams. “Why is a federation going to create a National Team that is not going to compete? Without competitions, the Federations are not going to bet on creating them. If they make it public and start creating the World Cup, more National Teams will also be created. In the end, it is useless internally, everything is gossip, ”he sentenced.

A fight in which they have been in for more than seven years: “In November of last year we met with FIFA and we talked about all this and there was a commitment that it was being studied and was going to be a reality, but the reality is that a year has passed and we don’t know anything. There is no when, where or how. When we started in 2015 and in 2016 we talked about it and it was going to be included in strategic plans and that remained in a sentence in a document. We are talking about many years ago that we are waiting to see if they do the World Cup and it is not serious”. “What is happening and what we are experiencing seems very serious to us,” he says angrily. Because the situation of discrimination has never been seen in a sport in which there is a men’s World Cup but does not have a women’s: “It is a responsibility that people who are in decision-making positions have to have and have those positions and especially when it comes to gender equality.”

Orive is clear that the future depends on FIFA taking the first step to organize the World Cup: “We want a meeting with FIFA in person and to be able to speak with a compromise. We don’t want words, we want facts. Let them explain to us what the path to follow is, plans, what we are if women’s football or futsal”. PBecause it is a sport that, today, is in no man’s land: “I’m tired of saying it, we are neither futsal nor women’s football, we are in nothing”. This is a major problem since the aid, for example, does not reach women’s futsal, since it is not framed as futsal or women’s soccer: “It happens to us in many things. The aid, but the aid for women does not come to the room at all. The money invested is doubled, but to us as zero is invested… well, it will continue to be zero”.

Orive is clear: “We are inside that house, what is our place?” and she explains: “The sustainable development goals of the 2030 agenda are used with the commitments to women, no to exclusion and we are contributed, that is how we feel and that is how we have manifested it”.

The support is being extensive, from Carlos Ortiz, Sergio Lozano to Ricardinho have expressed their support for the players: “We get along very well with the men’s soccer association and they support us to the fullest. We have a very large link, we share the web page and even a logo that joins and makes one. Great players have spoken out calling for the World Cup for women’s futsal. We are very happy with the acceptance, soccer players have also shared it, such as Vicky López or Patri Guijarro”.

Because Natalia is clear: “There are no arguments not to organize it, why isn’t there a World Cup? They can’t refute it. We are 33 years behind, we are going to start and work triple and more”.

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