Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Kavitha A. Davidson

Fans Love Women's Soccer. They Don't Love FIFA.

There's no shame in watching the tournament.
Not their fault.

Not their fault.

Photographer: Rich Lam/Getty Images

The Women's World Cup is in full swing in Canada -- Team USA won Group D and advanced to the elimination round with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria. Moreover, ratings in the U.S. have been strong. Tuesday's match garnered 5 million viewers, making it the third-most-watched women's soccer match in history. That's good news to those of us who think women's soccer -- and women's sports in general -- tend to get the short shrift from fans, media and sponsors. But that's not so good for those erroneously conflating women's soccer with scandal-laden FIFA.

The Globe and Mail's Grant Robertson has written an article rightly stating that the mounting pressure on sponsors to act against FIFA will fall on deaf ears as long as fans continue to watch soccer. It's along the lines of the countless think pieces last fall by people wondering if they could continue to watch football without feeling guilty for indirectly condoning Ray Rice. These are all fair discussions -- we're all partly to blame for the money machines that are global soccer and American football despite the rampant corruption we know or suspect.