It is a disappointment that none of television stations in Indonesia to relay the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 held in Germany. The tournament is the ultimate event in 2011 season for women's football. It's an irony that couple months ago the country's television televised the U-19 Women's FIFA World Cup. Indonesians who are the fans of women's football can only watch the matches from streaming videos, even running text presented by websites. Many great moments, such as the defeat of the mighty Nationalmannschaft and historic victory of the Swedes over the United States, and they all can only recorded by reading news from the official website of the tournament.
However, the above sad phenomenon must not prevent us from being big fans of women's football, supporting its future development. Having had female category, football contributes to the campaign of gender equality with particular style and characteristic.
In a large-populated country like Indonesia, where female population are dense, football can be a means to promote women participation toward equality. But, in practice, there seem no serious movement to support the development since "Galanita" (liga sepakbola wanita/women's football league) has been defunct. Once the country had a promising football competition for women in the 1980s. It was a time when the difference between male and female was more extreme. The participation of women's football in Indonesian sport development was promising by the presence of "Galanita". But then the competition discontinued itself. Since then, Indonesian women's football is drowned by the superiority of male counterparts. Unfortunately, the men's football in this country can only reach minor achievement, even in the regional stage. There is a contradictory trend between the encouragement of women's roles in daily life and the progress of women's football. What an irony it has been.
Women's football nowadays has been more popular with more competitive look. At past time, the United States frankly dominated the competition and most people only knew Mia Hamm as though nobody else compared to her. Today, people see a positive progress around the world with more well-managed footballing system. There is no guarantee that heavyweight teams like the US, Sweden, Brazil and Germany will easily overcome the game and bring victory home. The great achievement of Japan in the current World Cup is one perfect example. It can be a picture of recognition of more countries to the game. Except in some countries with strictly traditional rule on women, football associations from East to West and from North to South have began to develop their women section.
Indonesia has plenty of human resources with quite ideal situation in which women football may grow. It is a wonder that not many females are willing to play football. Compared with the situation in the 1980s, Indonesian females have more "perfect" physical condition and taller posture. The nutrition fed when they were babies have also been more adequate. But how can the country's achievement in sports in general, and football in particular, be getting worse? It is a big question, which the PSSI, the Indonesian FA, should answer immediately. Developing women football can be a solution towards playing more significant role in international stage while the men's section continues to stumble as underachievers. A good example can be sought through the experience of Sweden. The Swede men's football is still among mediocre powers despite the existence many great individuals such as Ibrahimovic, Ljungberg, Isaksson, Larsson etc. Supported by the spirit of gender equality, this country's women team is among the elites of the world football. Let we call it a compensation of the lacking success of the male sector. Indonesia can also take the similar action with much more number of female athletes available. It is going to be an interesting agenda to run down by the newly elected PSSI leadership.