Thanks Andy, now we’ll try even harder...

It's a woman's game: All weathers and tough-tackling
It's a woman's game: All weathers and tough-tackling
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A brilliant comeback performance from Lorraine Deschamps, respected FA-licenced referee instructor - SO not the hysterical, fluffy female response dinosaurs like the over-paid, overly-stuffed Andy Gray and his odious ilk would expect.

And make no mistake, though Gray has got the boot, there are still plenty of chauvinists in football - on whacking great club and TV salaries in the boxes and on Bovril and Pukka pie in the stands.

Who says Woman footballers are not tough.....

Who says Woman footballers are not tough.....

By thanking dastardly Grey and his Muttley-esque sidekick Richard Keys, the Sky presenters who thought their pathetically juvenile, anti-female (but only the successful ones who don’t look like porn stars) bitching was off-air, Deschamps proves so beautifully whose is the superior team.

While the male side of the sport reels over the duo’s comments about a female assistant ref, the women in the game are winning hands-down, she says.

The storm has highlighted, like a blaze of lightning in a grim black sky, the huge numbers of women there are in the game - on pitch and off.

And, she reckons, it will fire more girls to take up football so they can prove they can kick ass.

Deschamps’ comments will be no surprise to women. Fact is, sexism in the workplace - be it a football pitch or a factory floor - is so commonplace it worries us a lot less than people think it does. We’ve heard all the pathetic, snide little comments so many times. We learned long ago that you tackle it by turning the other cheek, then turning on the skills.

You use brain-power and you outwit them (it’s not hard). Then you have to prove yourself, over and over again - which isn’t fair, but so much in life isn’t.

The last thing you do is whine - and you never cry.

A man’s put-down won’t get you down because the deeply insecure idiot who uttered it simply isn’t worth it.

For men, football is tribal; if you’re not in their gang, you’re the enemy.

The tribes run on fear - that another might be better than theirs. Football’s females are a newer tribe to feel threatened by.

Instead of joining in, women are saving their energy for winning. That’s why female footballers ignore the pain and play on when they’re injured for the sake of the team - a fact university researchers have just proved. (Actually, it’s what mothers do all the time. Like when “team kids and husband” need feeding and you’re bent double with period pains).

It’s why women’s teams like Doncaster Rovers Belles and Sheffield Wednesday Ladies, and all the rest of the fiercely determined, dedicated, soccer-obsessed women’s teams, bust a gut every time they get on a pitch.

It’s why female fans turn out, hail or shine, brandishing those hugely expensive season tickets, having just done three loads of laundry and the weekly shop.

And why women who train to be linesmen and refs and managers and agents all work harder to get the recognition they deserve in a sport that they adore equally as much as men.

The great shame is that the same love of the game isn’t enough to create equality within it.