Photos: Taken from social networks
La Tri managed to bring joy to thousands of Mexicans when it won the women’s soccer runner-up in 1971
“There was no room for a pin,” recalls Alicia Vargas, “The Mexican Pele. “People were even on the stairs” … It was on September 5, 1971 in a crowded Aztec State where the final of the II World Championship of Women’s Soccer among the selection of Mexico and its similar to Denmark.
The tournament was sponsored by Martini & Rossi but with support from the Mexican beer brand Carta Blanca, the diet soda Dieta Fiel and the local tea brand Lagg’s.
The fever for the event had the Mexicans expectant. The Aztec stadium It was the venue that during the matches with Argentina, England, Italy and the final against Denmark was kept full and in the spirit of empowering the team by turning the stadium posts pink and having the staff wear matching outfits.
“Xochitl” was the “mascot” of the tournament, an animated soccer player who wore the colors of Mexico on her uniform.
The Tri they lost the final 3-0 against the Danish players and although the fury remained in the hearts of the fans, this was not enough for the competitors to receive the necessary support to grow on the field.
The tournament was not recognized as official and the women did not receive support from the confederation, but they did receive criticism from the press when they asked for compensation in the framework of the great earnings left by their encounters with the other teams.
Alicia Vargas, “The Pelé“Mexican, recalls in the documentary” Apuntes de Rabona “, that the support of the fans began with” morbid “because it was not common in those times to see women play soccer but when the public observed their level of play they received” more support than critics”.
“How was it possible that we asked for money if we were amateurs”, says with irony Vargas, who was a scoring champion at the Women’s World Cup played in Italy a year earlier.
“I told them: ‘Yes, we are indeed amateurs, but we are the ones who play, don’t charge tickets that are free either.’
In interview for BBC Jean Williams, the leader of the “Hidden Stories of Women’s Football” project, points out that the success of this event was due to how it was conducted
“Mexico 71 was a success because the organizers did not assume that it would be a commercial or sporting failure. It was sold and promoted as a soccer tournament, one that happens to be starred by women. “
The dream of the players ended in that year as the playing field did not offer them any opportunity for growth.
Martha Coronado, who was also part of the selection that played the Women’s World Cup, highlights in the documentary what was the gain of having played.
“The world cup was only a period to continue, so that women’s football continued with more leagues.” At that time it was not possible for women’s soccer to become official and therefore paid.
Irma Chávez, a former soccer player and member of that historic women’s team, remarks that most of the obstacles they faced were due to the federation.
“It was worth it to have been pioneers so that later, after all, what we all would have liked at the time has been done: the professional league ”.
Although the officialization of women’s sport is already a fact, a recent report issued by EFE found that female soccer players earn less than 1% of men’s wages.
For this reason, the team continues to invite current female players to fight for better conditions for their development on the field in addition to demanding a salary and not “financial support” in exchange for your talent.
“It is up to them to do their part at this time with everything and their sacrifice (…) just as we had to lay the foundations, it was up to them to lay the next floor,” reflects Bertha Coronado.