New A-Leagues, who dis?

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The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) made a drastic change to football by rebranding the entire A-League as we know it over the off-season.

Referring to ‘A-League’ alone has been scrapped, in times prior to this, any mention of A-League was in reference to only the men’s league. But hang on, women play this game too right?

The promotion of playing under the same umbrella was put in place to remove the divide between A-League and W-League, but playing at an equal level is still an issue which lingers beyond the surface.

After only one round of the anticipated A-League Women’s season was played, it was clear to see that apparently not everyone got the memo.

 

Fans were essentially in uproar, if the main point of the rebrand is based around equity and equality, why are we still seeing ‘women’ to identify the women’s league but not ‘men’ to identify the men’s league? Wasn’t the purpose of a sponsor the pinnacle of its identification and unification of the A-Leagues?

Liberty chief executive, James Boyle, said that “equal coverage plays an important role in promoting equity and equality in the A-Leagues,” and he is not wrong.

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If Australia plans to set the example for football around the globe, the best way to get it right starts from the source.

With support of the unified A-Leagues coming from fans, players, and staff, this message seems to be left on read by the main source of access to the games: its broadcaster.

While the broadcaster has been informed of the issue and intend to fix this mistake, it’s something that really should not have occurred in the first place.

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The majority of Australia is exposed to modern football and is ready to move onto the next big thing for the women’s league, but we need something that goes beyond a marketing campaign.

APL managing director, Danny Townsend, said it best, “It’s not men’s football or women’s football, it’s just football.”

More on this can be said for Adelaide United player, Meleri Mullan, who agreed she’s had enough of being categorised as a ‘lady red’ while her male colleagues are only referred to as ‘the reds’.

If you identify one league based off its gender, do it for both or don’t do it at all. It’s really that simple.

While the inclusivity of the adopted A-Leagues isn’t all negative; it is a game changer, and the unification is paving the way for exposure to women’s football. Along with setting an example for the rest of the footballing world, who we only hope will follow.

We shouldn’t have to ask but here we are, do better.

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Ash Ramos
Journalism student at Curtin University covering Perth Glory for the 2021/22 A-leagues season. Siuuu

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