On Friday, a translated letter written by alumni of the women’s Brazilian national team got out on social media, asking the Brazilian Football Confederation’s (CBF’s) to reform its support of the women’s team. The authors of the letter include Marica Tafarel, Sissi Do Amor Lima, Juliana Ribeiro Cabral, Miraildes Maciel Mota (aka Formiga), Francielle “Fran” Manoel Alberto, Rosana dos Santos Augusto, Cristiane Rozeira and Andréia Rosa.
“We, the player alumni of the Brazil Women’s National Team (WNT), are greatly saddened and distressed by developments at CBF in women’s football and in our national team,” they wrote.
The complaints include the abrupt firing of the team’s first-ever female coach Emily Lima and the lack of leadership opportunities offered to women in the organization. The letter also cites the recent retirement of longtime national team members Cristiane, Rosana, Andréia Rosa, Fran and Maurine. All claim they left because of the amount of disrespect for women’s soccer among CBF officials.
“I no longer serve the Brazilian team due to the latest events that we had in relation to the technical commission having been dismissed,” wrote Fran. “All athletes were satisfied with the work even with the negative results. We arrived to request her and the commission’s stay, but it was not enough. Coach Emily Lima brought me back, pulled me up, and helped me to recover some things I had lost. I was happy to give the team my best. My motives are broader: CBF took injured girls to the World Cup, girls who were untrained. That was too much for me. I even thought about quitting football, but thanks to God I managed to turn around with great eagerness for the hope that the sport could change. But now I am leaving.”
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“The CBF encouraged us to invest in courses that would build our capacity to coach, but now that we are qualified all they show us is sexism,” wrote Tafarel. “The actions from CBF directors do not match their speech. The macho CBF culture is an unsurpassable barrier for women. We simply have to speak up against the disrespect that they are showing.”
To read the full letter, click here.