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Monday, June 17, 2024

Women’s soccer overlooked

While Norway’s national football (soccer) team for men gets massive media attention, the women’s national squad can often seem overlooked. Now they’re hoping for more attention when they play their next match in the run-up to the European championships.

Not even a 6-0 victory over Hungary last week brought the women’s national team much more publicity, as evidenced by a story tucked away on page 31 of the Oslo-based daily Aftenposten. And the number of spectators at the match sunk to a low that was much worse than normal: 103 fans showed up to cheer on the team on home turf at the run-down Nadderud stadium in suburban Bærum.

The poor turnout could be blamed on a match-time set at 4:30pm on a Wednesday, arguably the busiest time of the day for most Norwegians who are still at work, heading home from work in traffic or picking up children at day care centers. The unfortunate timing of the match was blamed on television: TV broadcasting was desired but it couldn’t conflict with another match aired later that evening between the men’s clubs Fredrikstad and Brann of Bergen. That match clearly was deemed more important and won the prime-time slot.

The women were disappointed once again, not least that so few people saw them win by such a huge margin, “but I can’t use energy on it,” said player Isabell Herlovsen, who scored two of the team’s six goals. “There’s so little we can do about it.”

The women’s next Euro qualifier will be played on October 26 against Belgium, where more fans may turn out.

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