Discover Football Girl´s Football Camp and Tournament

Under the banner of DISCOVER FOOTBALL´s international campaign Estrela Sports and DISCOVER FOOTBALL created an exchange among young female football players. The Girls Football Camp took place from July 5th till July 12th 2014 in the amateur soccer pitches of girls’ projects in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro. The exchange ended with a tournament in Rocinha, girls against girls from 4 different Favelas. The girl’s team from Cidade de Deus took the trophy home.


During the FIFA Men’s World Cup, DISCOVER FOOTBALL and our partner organization Estrela Sports brought together girls from different areas of disadvantaged neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha, Vidigal, Chatuba – Mesquita and Cidade de Deus. Just like in any other region of the world, girls from disadvantaged communities face complex problems. They often come from difficult social backgrounds with many families living below the poverty line. Due to poor education, many youths lack employment skills. They are exposed to health risks, alcoholism and drugs. Especially girls and young women face violence and crime and are discriminated against and excluded from social life.

Girls Camp in Rocinha - organized with our partner Asociación Estrela Sports IMG_8319











Using football as a tool DISCOVER FOOTBALL and Estrela Sports strove to overcome discrimination, improves health and combat disease, promote gender equality, fight violence and secure environmental sustainability. The girl’s football camp created an exchange among female football players and leaders, a ‘safe space’, enabled the girls to talk about issues they are facing, and encourage them to play football. The workshops were meant to be a mutual exchange and commitment of participating communities, DISCOVER FOOTBALL and Estrela Sports. It aimed to create an international solidarity and a sense of community through the common joy of the game. The project recognized the potential that football and other sports can unleash when systematically included in processes of social change.

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The Girls Camp closed with a tournament on a hill in Rocinha, where all 4 participating teams played against each other. UN special advisor on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr. Willi Lemke joined our celebration day and highlighted the importance of advocating for a world in which girls and women can do sports without being discriminated against for any reason.
Willi Lemke , UN special advisor on Sport for Development and Peace hand over the medalls

We are still looking at a long road ahead of us. But DISCOVER FOOTBALL and our network members will keep fighting for those who have none, to look at those who are not seen. We believe that everyone deserves opportunities and need to have alternatives in life.We hope there will be a higher understanding of the importance of women in sport, more knowledge of the other dimension of the game, and an increased recognition of the power of football to change lives and create new opportunities for girls and women all over the world – independently from origin, life style or social backgrounds.




Campaigner Olga from Mexico about Discover Football

La periodista Olga Trujillo quien es promotora de la inclusión femenina en el deporte, destacó que aún existe rezago en ese rubro a nivel mundial, sin embargo, es en Latinoamérica en donde se concentra un mayor nivel de discriminación hacia las mujeres deportistas. 

La periodista, Olga Trujillo quien en fechas recientes estuvo de visita en Brasil, sede de la Copa del Mundo 2014 indicó que su presencia en tierras mundialistas fue gracias a la Fundación Discover Football, la cual busca promover la inclusión de las mujeres en un deporte tan popular como lo es el futbol, el cual aún pareciera ser exclusivo de los hombres, esto por el gran número de limitantes que las mujeres que gustan de ese deporte enfrentan a la hora de llevarlo a la práctica de manera profesional e incluso, de manera informal.

En entrevista para el espacio “Fórmula en Domingo” sostuvo que el ideal de la fundación en pro del futbol femenil, es que algún día, ver a una mujer sobre el terreno de juego cobra la misma fuerza y relevancia que tiene ver a una personas del sexo opuesto, tal y como se puede ver en la Copa del Mundo, de la cual por cierto, se disputa la final.

Compartió que ella es autora del contenido publicado en el blog “Diosas Olímpicas” el cual surgió ante la inquietud que tuvo de escribir sobre la presencia de la figura femenina en la escena deportiva ya que notaba una falta de ese tipo de material periodístico en diarios impresos y programas.

Comentó que inicialmente, escribió sobre la manera en la que en México, no se da peso a la mujeres deportivas, por el contrario, en general son vistas como objeto dentro del deporte, es decir por su apariencia física, como atractivo visual.

En tanto, destacó que en su trayecto por conocer más sobre la relación mujer-deporte se dio cuenta en España existe mucho apoyo de las mujeres hacia otras mujeres deportista y siempre están presente pensamientos como “las mujeres podemos, las mujeres sabemos, también jugamos deportes” y otros, siempre en pro de las mujeres.

En concreto, sobre su estancia en Brasil, dijo que fueron a proponer y promover que las mujeres se animen a ir a las cachas, que no teman.

Refirió que tras convivir con gente de distintos países, podría decir que en América Latina es en donde existe una mayor discriminación hacia las mujeres deportistas, principalmente en Argentina, Brasil, México y Camerún.

Para finalizar, destacó que en su visita por Brasil, tuvo oportunidad de coincidir con Moya Dodd quien es miembro ejecutivo de la FIFA de la región asiática y juega un papel fundamental, quien habló sobre el reciente anuncio de la FIFA respecto a los 10 principios aprobados por la propia Federación que buscan obligar a las federaciones nacionales para que incluyan a más mujeres en los diferentes puestos y que al igual que los varones puedan participar en la toma de decisiones que marquen el rumbo del deporte y al mismo tiempo se fomente la equidad de género. – See more

‘Brazilian Women Football Also Cry’

By Leocadia Bongben

A series once shown in Cameroon had as title “the rich also cry”, portraying that rich people also have problems.

This is almost the same scenario with the Brazilian women football. While players in Cameroon and Africa have the impression that Brazilian women’s football is one of the best, the realities are similar to other countries in Africa and the world.

Five times World Cup winners and semi-finalists of the 2014 World Cup, men’s football has evolved in Brazil where women’s football is neglected and not valued.

Female soccer was banned in Brazil and other countries like England, though the ban was later lifted, women’s soccer is still crying out for help.

In this country of the football king, Edson Arantes do Nascimento better known as Pele, many female players have decided to ply their trade abroad where they can fetch some financial reward and Equatorial Guinea is one of such destinations.

Playing soccer in another country can bring some more money, but in Brazil it is still a little bit difficult says 20 year-old Beatriz Vaz, footballer who is part of the Guerreiras Project ( Female Warriors) that fights for equality in soccer fields in Brazil.

Vaz’s struggle to play football is a depiction of women’s struggle to play football in Brazil and the world over. She was part of the Discover Football Campaign for the improvement of female football in Rio de Janeiro from July 3-7 and told her story.


This midfielder who started playing as child went to some football clubs, practiced hard every day for a very long time until she grabbed the opportunity and got to the Brazilian national female football team.

But, it was not a bed of roses for the Vaz the first of the three children and like many girls in Brazil though good players she had hard time playing soccer.

“We don’t have good support; we have to pay to go for training and also outside the field to complete the training which most times is not enough”.

“We lack financial support, the federation puts in money that can only last a few months though I can’t say how much but, I don’t think it is enough and government support is considered to be some kind of social”.

However, Vaz is not discouraged, she would in future encourage her daughter to play soccer because to her, there are so many things one can achieve by playing soccer.

“It is not just about going to the national team; we can change attitudes and communities and soccer is a great opportunity to be a better person”.

Vaz and her colleagues have been working hard to use football to change lives and communities.

Through the Guerreiras Project started by a former US footballer Caitlin Fisher, Vaz goes to the communities, talking to boys and girls and their parents on gender roles and female soccer.

“We are using football as our tool, going to the communities, play with them share ideas and try to break some traditional roles.

With this project there is a glimmer of hope that the perception of female football is going to change. Besides, if the Brazilian Football Confederation adopts the Fifa female football principles among which is planning female football, the best for female football can be tapped.

*This article is produced after the Discover Football Campaign in Rio de Janeiro.


Planning, Key To Women Football Development- Fifa Member

Moya Dodd, Fifa Executive member (co-opted) Australian Football Federation member, Asian Football
Confederation Vice President says it is time for the other half of the population, women, to enjoy the wonderful game, soccer. And to catch up, federations, NGO’s and Governments have to play a big role to make this happen. As special guest during the Discover Football Campaign in Rio de Janeiro from July 3-7 she stresses that federations have to plan and invest in women football. In an interview with Leocadia Bongben the Fifa Legal Committee member who has contributed a lot through a task force on the amelioration of women football hopes Fifa principles would give federations a road map to develop women football especially through planning.

Read the excerpts:

This is a Discover Football Campaign to encourage more women to play football, how did you come here today? 
I came here because I had met the organisers at various football events and conferences around the world. I have a keen interest in showing the promotion of women’s football and I know much of it is through member federations, confederations and through Fifa itself but, also non-governmental organisations playing that role and helping that to occur and to improve the position of women in society generally.

But we all Know women’s football in Brazil and Africa has not reached the level of men’s football, what explains this situation?

In many big football countries like England, Brazil and Germany women football was banned at different times and women had a later start in football than the men. Men’s football is already big and established and it is a great game, it is too good a game not to share with everybody in the world, but it is time for the other half of the population to enjoy this wonderful game as well. To catch up many people have a role to play, NGOs, member federations and governments have a big role to play to make this happen.

Talking about the big role, how can the ten principles of female football Fifa adopted in June 2014 help in the catching up?
My hope is that this will set a road-map for member federations to begin on a path to developing women football, to have a plan for the game, include former players in running the game, develop expertise in women football, to include women in their executive committee and in decision making roles and see the game as a real source of growth for football generally and also to make football better and richer by including women in it.

When we look at the principles, they are too good, too big but if these are not implement at the local level what will happen?
There are always challenges of implementation but the best thing is to have the principles, a road-map and a plan. The principles ask member federations to have a plan for women football, to provide it to Fifa and have it approved by the executive committee and monitored overtime. I am very hopeful that this will encourage member federations to do exactly that, to start to plan for the game and to give it the resources needed to thrive.

Though you are not form the African Zone, what is your perception of women football in Africa?
I think there is a great deal of potential in women football in Africa. The level of participation and formal structures are not there yet, but formal structures of competition can be created. In the U-17 World Cup qualifiers, there were three participating teams from Africa and six countries participated in the qualification. Obviously there is a great potential for participation for the three position and I am hopeful that the principles of women football would help federations plan out how they are going to do that and give those who are already in the game the means to step out and be part of something bigger which is the growth of women’s football in Africa.

What advice for the growth of women’s football; the way forward?

The first principle is the most important, have a plan. Without a plan it is like being stuck to the wall and it is worth noting that coordinated action is much more powerful, like have a plan and coordinate it. That is how Germany and Japan got to be the leaders in women’s football because they had a plan and worked towards it. Don’t be concerned about results; think about development, the right plan for the country and how to implement it.

original article 


MWFRA Referee Luciane Lauffer in Brazil 2014

Luciane Lauffer, a Referee with the Manly Warringah Football Referees
Association, was one of the ten women chosen by the German NGO Discover
Football to take part in a five-day seminar on Women and Football held last
weekend (3-7 July) in Rio, during the Men’s FIFA World Cup. Luciane
presented workshops on Women’s Football in Brazil and on alternatives for
player recruitment. The participants discussed alternatives to women’s
empowerment in developing countries with football activists and journalists
from Mexico, Argentina, Nigeria, Cameroon and Germany. On Sunday, the group received the visit of of Moya Dodd, FFA Board Member, Asian Football
Confederation Vice President and FIFA ExCo member (co-opted). She spoke
about the current situation of Women’s Football in the world under the eyes
and interest of FIFA. After the talk, the group headed to Cinelândia
(downtown Rio) and to Copacabana Beach to play football and encourage other women to join.

Original Article


Frauenfußball am Rande der WM: Es ist auch ihr Sport

Die Fußballweltmeisterschaft der Herren ist ein gigantisches Männerevent. Nicht ganz: Eine kleine Berliner Initiative kämpft in Rio de Janeiro für den Frauenfußall.

RIO DE JANEIRO taz | Moya Dodd steht hier einsam am Rand, heute in lässigen Klamotten, und sieht etwas verloren aus. Hier am Cinelândia, dem Platz im Stadtzentrum von Rio de Janeiro, ist Sonntags einfach nichts los. Eigentlich könnte ihr Chauffeur sie längst schon zu einem der fein dekorierten Fifa-Empfänge kutschieren oder ins Hotelzimmer oder zu einem der vielen Sponsoren-Meetings in Rio de Janeiro. Moya Dodd ist Mitglied des Fifa-Exekutivkomitees, dem vielleicht mächtigsten Gremium des internationalen Fußballs und sie ist eine Frau – eine von dreien, die in diesem Männergremium überhaupt mit am Tisch sitzen dürfen.


Neymar als Vorbild

Artikel von Favelawatchblog

Juliana Leites goldene Fußballschuhe sind von Neymar – zumindest entworfen hat er sie. An der Seite hat sie ihren Namen aufsticken lassen: „Juju Leite“. Auch sie will „Crack“ werden wie Neymar, Fußballstar – ein Traum, der in den Favelas von Rio meist noch Männersache ist.

Eben hat die 14-Jährige mit ihrem Fußballteam aus der Favela Rocinha den zweiten Platz abgeräumt, beim Turnier des Frauen-Fußball-Festivals„Discover Football“. Frauen gegen Frauen, aus vier Favelas. Das Spielfeld in der Favela Rocinha, in der auch Juliana wohnt, ist nur über Schleichwege zu erreichen, thront auf einer Anhöhe zwischen den eng aufeinandergestapelten Ziegelhütten der Favela. Den Siegerpokal nimmt das Team aus Cidade de Deus mit nach Hause. „Ein paar Spielerinnen haben rumgefoult und es war auch nicht so einfach auf dem Rasen zu spielen, weil er vom Regen noch so feucht war“, sagt Juliana. „Aber das Spiel war super.“

Als das Turnier ein bisschen länger dauert als geplant, die Mädchen noch ein paar Selfies auf dem Rasen knipsen und sich für Teamfotos aufstellen, fluchen die Männer auf den Bänken, regen sich auf – sie wollen selbst spielen. Für Mädchen und Frauen ist es immer noch schwierig, sich das Spielfeld zu erobern, sie kämpfen gegen viele Vorurteile und Barrieren. Die deutsche Intitiative „Discover Football“ unterstützt Mädchen und Frauen weltweit dabei, sich zu vernetzen, veranstaltet Expertinnenforen, Trainings und Turniere.

Auch Juliana findet, dass es als Mädchen schwieriger sei, sich als Fußballerin durchzusetzen – unmöglich aber nicht. Sie spielt schon jetzt professionell Fußball in einem Jugendteam in Rio, fährt auch zu Auswärtsspielen. Und sie besucht eine Sportschule, pendelt jeden Tag mit dem Bus von der Rocinha nach Santa Theresa ins Zentrum der Stadt. Ihre Familie unterstützt sie, zusammen fiebern sie bei den WM-Spielen zuhause mit.

Die Leistung der brasilianischen Nationalmannschaft analysiert Juliana kühl: Sie sei nicht traurig gewesen, als die Brasilianer verloren haben – sie habe sowieso gewusst, dass Brasilien rausfliegt. „Die Brasilianer waren nicht auf das Spiel vorbereitet, haben kein gutes Team“, so Juliana. „Es ist ein Offensivteam – sie kümmern sich um die Attacken, aber sie achten nicht auf die Verteidigung, das ist das Problem.” Dass Brasilien 2014 das Land der WM ist, findet sie trotzdem “cool”.



O otro lado do copa – the other side of the world cup



On thursday evening we had a talk about the other side of the world cup.

We discussed the political dimension of football, the impact big sport events have on cities and the gender perspective on football. We spoke with Renata from Amnesty Brazil, Caithlin Fisher from Guerreiras Project, Juliane from La nuestra futbol feminino, Panmela, a feminist graffiti artist and Adriana an activist from a favela.

Prior to the talk we screened the movie Mujeres con Pelotas, which shows how women´s football was used as a political tool to change mind sets and attitudes in a slum in Buenos Aires.