In the community of Surubim (Brazil), women face prejudice because of their passion for football

In the day-to-day of love.fútbol, one of the crucial steps of our work is the identification of communities. in practice, we visit localities, meet the people and hear their stories. it's common that in some of these places the connection forms quickly after the first conversations. we call them "love.fútbol communities." 

from this first meeting, we recognize the people as those who love the game, have team spirit, beautiful stories to tell and want to transform their playing space.  when this happens, we are already able to see the project unfolding before our eyes; a whole community working on the weekends and a lot of kids running with the ball on inauguration day. 

In the community of Lério de Cima, in Surubim (Pernambuco, Brazil), this is what exactly what happened. there, we met Joselma with a smile on her face and a story of passion for futbol. "I always followed and played, since I was a kid. I have a record of all the goals I scored in a notebook. 302!", she says, full of pride. 

Joselma is one of the veterans of the first-ever women's team in the area: o Sport Lério, in homage to the Sport Club do Recife (men's team in the capital of Pernambuco). together with her friends, she founded the team more than ten years ago.  

But, with the passage of time, the futbolistas of Sport Lério came up against prejudice. "people said that fútbol was not a sport for women. the situation worsened when the girls got married, and many husbands prohibited them from playing. my husband was one of them. with these difficulties, we stopped playing", one of the ex-players told us.

However, two years ago, the women took their boots from the closet and decided to come back and play. it was not easy, but the team returned even stronger. steadfast in going ahead, they encountered pushback. "either the ball or me!", remarked a husband. the response: "well, I already feel single!" "one month later, he was watching the game there," said Fatinha, a veteran of Sport Lério.

"To play ball in my infancy and youth was a challenge. we overcame prejudices and made history. I am happy in knowing that we opened doors", says Joselma. today, 20 girls kick the ball around on the community field, and for the first time, the team participated in the local football tournament. 

#JogaPraElas,  Sport Lério!

Larissa Brainer