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Rediff.com  » Sports » Swedish women footballers slam Johansson comments

Swedish women footballers slam Johansson comments

June 18, 2005 09:14 IST

Swedish women internationals condemned UEFA president Lennart Johansson for saying women's soccer should cash in on players' good looks to sell the game.

Johansson told the BBC ahead of Sunday's European championship women's final: "There are so many companies who could make use of the fact that if you see a girl playing on the ground, sweaty, with the rainy weather and coming out of the dressing-room, lovely looking, that would sell."

Swedish international Frida Ostberg said: "I get really fed up with this sort of thing. In a superficial world it is what is on the surface that sells, but we should be interesting for what we do on the pitch."

Sweden were knocked out 3-2 by Norway in Thursday's championship semi-final. Norway will play world champions Germany in the final in Blackburn, England.

"We're not here to be nice-looking, we're here to play football. The drama which was played out in the semi-final against Norway should be good enough as entertainment," said Kristin Bengtsson.

Bengtsson says she is surprised that Johansson, a fellow Swede who is head of European soccer's governing body, would make such comments.

"I don't believe he said such things. It doesn't seem like the Lennart Johansson we know."

Sepp Blatter, president of world soccer's governing body FIFA, courted controversy last year when he urged women players to wear tighter shorts to create a "more female aesthetic".

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