“It can not be that difficult”

Now on Monday, November 29, the Ballon d’Or will be awarded to the world’s best football player on the men’s and women’s side. Then the nominated women players can not attend the gala, as it takes place in the middle of the national team break. Sweden will meet Slovakia, for example, in a World Cup qualifier in Malmö the evening after the Ballon d’Or gala in Paris.

The English newspaper Daily Telegraph drew attention to this in an article yesterday with the words “women’s football is just an afterthought for the Ballon d’Or”. Tottenham coach Rehanne Skinner wrote on Twitter that it was an “incredibly big disappointment”.

Magdalena Eriksson, who together with Stina Blackstenius are the two Swedes nominated for the award, is critical of the date choice for the gala.

– I think it’s an incredible pity that you could not find a date that fits both calendars. It feels very sad that the winner on the women’s side can not be there physically and receive their prize, says Eriksson to TV4.

What signals does it send?
– Good question. It does not look good, especially not for those who arrange the gala. I do not know exactly why they chose that particular date, but it was very sad that they could not find a suitable date.

Eriksson is supported by national team colleague Nilla Fischer.

– I do not need to say much more than that it is bad. All players who are nominated must be able to go there, that opportunity must exist. It can not be that difficult to find a date that is not an international game date.

What did you think when you found out about this?
– I thought a bit that “here we go again”. This is something that has happened before and I thought we would be able to stand and talk about it in the media. And now we are here, says Fischer.

She continues:

– Had I been nominated myself, I would have thought it was very boring not to be able to go there. It’s not something that happens every year, so you have to look at the whole picture how to signal to women’s players and men’s players – what value we have.

It could not happen the other way?
– Doubtful. But I may eat my words if it happens next year, but I do not think so.

The best men’s players will be able to attend the Ballon d’Or gala, as it is a match-free day for most of the big clubs on the men’s side.