On Tuesday, FIFA president Sepp Blatter abruptly announced his resignation just days after he had been re-elected amid an ever-growing corruption scandal. That is good news for soccer as a whole — and for women’s soccer in particular. The scandal had cast an enormous cloud over the Women’s World Cup, which is kicking off in Canada this weekend, but can now finally force its way back into the spotlight. “A cloud has been lifted,” said Alexi Lalas on Fox Sports 1. “As far as the Women’s World Cup, now we can concentrate on what ultimately is the most important thing when it comes to FIFA and soccer, and that’s the actual play on the field.” Moreover, Sepp Blatter has a less than friendly reputation when it comes to women’s soccer — infamously suggesting in 2013 that the sport could gain some popularity if women would be playing in “tighter shorts.” This year, the decision by FIFA to play the Women’s World Cup on artificial turf instead of natural grass, even led to a gender discrimination lawsuit by some of the sport’s top athletes. The suit was dropped when FIFA stalled the procedures so long that a decision would not come in time for the tournament. This was indicative of how little regard Blatter and his FIFA had for their women athletes — so with Blatter’s resignation and the indictment of several top officials, we can only hope we’ll see a less corrupt and more women-friendly FIFA in coming years.
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