A South Australian football club has been slammed for a “cooked” opinion piece about the Matildas that recently featured in its newsletter.
The Murray Bridge Imperial Football Club has a newsletter that includes an “opinion” section, with a recent version of the publication sparking significant backlash after the writer questioned the “carry on” around the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Titled “Mitchs’ Musing”, the opinion piece starts with the line: “How’s the carry on around women’s soccer”.
“Albo ya big flog teasing us with a PH (public holiday). Debatable whether women should be playing prime time on a Wednesday night,” he wrote.
“Who is meant to clean the kitchen? Uber Eats woulda been busy.”
Ahead of the Australia vs England match last week, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese backed the push for a national public holiday if the Matildas won the World Cup.
Throughout the competition the Matildas smashed TV ratings records, with Channel 7 making the major decision to delay the news in order to air Australia’s 5pm AEST game against France in full.
The network’s Saturday night AFL timeslot was also pushed back as a result.
The opinion writer went on to claim that the referees in the World Cup games “deserve a shout out though”.
“One of them do (sic) a better job than 4 AFL umpires and they don’t hand out yellow cards for fun like they do in our league,” he wrote.
“Prob won’t be back next year.”
News.com.au contacted the Imperial Football Club for comment but had not heard back at the time of publishing.
Club president Jack Daniels told the ABC that around 10 copies of the newsletter were handed out by mistake despite the piece being deemed inappropriate.
“It was a mistake and we apologise,” he said.
A photo of the newsletter was shared to the Football Down Under Facebook page, sparking backlash against the club.
“Can’t believe I expected better from a local Aussie rules newsletter,” one person wrote.
The opinion piece was slammed as “casual sexism” and “cooked”, with one commenter saying the fact the piece was published in the first place “speaks volumes of the club”.
“What a shame this bloke is given the time to spruke such dribble,” another said.
“I feel sorry for any ladies wanting to play afl in your catchment.”
One person added: “Probably a reason why their little opinion is tucked away in the bottom corner
Despite a few “cooked” takes, the overwhelming majority of Aussies have rallied behind the Matildas throughout the competition.
Following the team’s shattering 3-1 semi-final loss to England, captain Sam Kerr said she hoped the team’s success would be a catalyst for change.
“I can only speak for the Matildas (but), you know, we need funding in our development, we need funding in our grassroots. We need funding, you know, we need funding everywhere,” she said after the match.
In response, the Albanese government announced the $200 million “Play Our Way” program to help ensure the “next generation of Sam Kerrs and Mackenzie Arnolds” will get the infrastructure and facilities they need to get ahead in their sport.
Mr Albanese said the Matildas, alongside the Diamonds and the Wallaroos had captured the nation’s hearts and “changed Australian sport forever”, and that momentum must “ripple through generations”.
“We are going to see an explosion in participation in sport, and that is why this $200 million will make a difference, to not just recognise that this has been a moment of national inspiration, but to seize the opportunity for the next generation coming up to be able to fulfil the dreams that are being felt right around our nation.”