Gennaro Gattuso Says Women Have No Place in Football After Milan Shake-Up

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IDecember 5, 2013

BARI, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 24:  Coach Gennaro Gattuso of Palermo reacts during the Serie B match between AS Bari and US Citta di Palermo at Stadio San Nicola on September 24, 2013 in Bari, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Former AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has provoked ire after commenting he "can't really see women in football," following a reshuffle at the San Siro in recent days.

Just last week, per BBC Sport, chief executive Adriano Galliani agreed to share his role with club president Silvio Berlusconi's daughter, Barbara.

Per the article, the move prompted anger from Gattuso, who said, "For someone like Galliani there should be more respect. I can't really see women in football. I don't like to say it but that's how it is."

Gattuso has long since been a controversial figure, renowned throughout his playing career as a particularly hostile presence in the midfield.

Among his highlights included a ban for a headbutt on Joe Jordan, as described by the Daily Mail, when Jordan was the Tottenham assistant manager at the time.

His comments on this occasion, though, will be of particular disappointment to the sport's authorities, with gender equality a particular concern at the current time.

While there are prominent female figures in the sport, such as West Ham director Karren Brady, they remain few and far between at high levels—including within the governing body at FIFA.

Whatever Gattuso's personal feelings are regarding Berlusconi and his daughter, having spent 13 years at the San Siro, his comments regarding the role of women are wrong and should be condemned.

Football clubs are now a business, and there is no reason to substantiate his comments undermining the potential of women to get involved. Indeed, it can surely be hoped that the presence of a figure like Berlusconi can help encourage more women to believe that there is a role for them in the sport.

With Gattuso having made a couple of disappointing attempts to get into management, he is doing his job prospects little help with such outdated comments.

Sadly, though, there will still be many who agree with the Italian or are inclined to simply accept the statements as representative of footballing culture. In the modern day, it shouldn't be the case.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.