Female footballers fall foul ... of dads!

Female footballers' goal not shared by dads
Female footballers' goal not shared by dads
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Britain's next generation of women footballers are being given the red card ... by their dads.

Half of fathers don't want their girls to make a career in the game, despite the boom in popularity of female football and England's third place in the Women's World Cup.

Just three in 10 dads watched the international tournament - which won a global TV audience of over 750 MILLION - with their daughters.

The male attitude is different when it comes to encouraging sons to take up football, however.

Over 60 per cent say they have regular kick-abouts with their lads and one in four boys are encouraged to realistically pursue football as a career.

In contrast, only a third of fathers bother to play football with their daughters, and just TWO per cent believe she would be interested in the sport anyway.

Martin Ogg, spokesman for energy giant SSE, said: "There are many dads around the UK doing a brilliant job of encouraging their daughters to be a part of football.

"We are determined to grow these numbers further through initiatives such as SSE's Participation Programme which is significantly increasing the number of girls' only football provisions across the country.

"Just one per cent of fathers think their daughters would pick a career as a footballer, if given the choice.

" We think the number might be much higher, and would encourage fathers to find out more about how they can get involved in the work SSE are doing to increase opportunities for girls to play football."

Fathers are also far more likely to spend time playing computer games or tablets indoors with their daughters than go outside for a kickabout.

The study found that as a career choice, dads think their daughters are eight times more likely to pick a career in dance, theatre or hairdressing over football.

Dads think their sons are most likely to choose a career in football, engineering or the medical profession - but NO-ONE expects their boy to have any desire to go into childcare.

Half of all fathers polled admit to guiding their daughters down certain paths in terms of their hobbies and interests - whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Nearly a fifth of fathers say that in the last month they haven't spent any time with their daughters outdoors at all - whereas nine in 10 dads with sons regularly spend time outdoors.

The study also revealed that 20 per cent of fathers actively encourage their sons to take an interest in football, whereas that figure drops to just seven per cent for girls.

Researchers found that as well as being less likely to play football with their daughters, they're also less likely to watch the great game with them.

In the last month 42 per cent of fathers watched sport on TV with their sons compared with a third watching with their daughters - although 60 per cent of fathers had taken their girls shopping.

One thing that's consistent across the board is that for both boys and girls, fathers believe that job satisfaction - whatever the job - is the most important thing for their children's well-being.

Mr Ogg added: "Although women's football has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, nearly a third of fathers in the UK feel there is still a stigma around girls pursuing certain sports or hobbies and we need to address that."

"Hopefully with the great work currently taking place in women's football, we'll see more fathers than ever being just as open to their daughters being involved in football as their sons."