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Women's football

'Let the pretty ones play in bikinis' - Germany's first female agent explains how she beat sexist comments

16:01 SAST 2021/12/10
JASMINA COVIC BERATERIN PRIVAT
Serious obstacles were put in the path of Jasmina Covic, but she broke through to make history in her home country

Jasmina Covic broke through the glass ceiling in 2014 when becoming the youngest and only female agent in the German football business.

Today she runs the Women’s Football Agency – the first of its kind to specialise in women’s football consultancy – alongside Brian Eylert, who once worked with iconic figures such as Lothar Matthaus and Nadine Angerer.

It has been a long road to this point, but every obstacle put in Covic’s path – from narrow-minded sexism to stereotypes in the sporting agency world – have been cleared in groundbreaking fashion.

What has been said?

Speaking to GOAL and SPOX about her initial efforts to work with a men’s football agency, Covic said: “I contacted a few.

“However, I either didn't get any feedback or received a disapproving response like: 'Nobody is interested in women's football anyway'.

"An agent once said to Brian: 'What do you want with that? Let the pretty ones play in bikinis and lock the ugly ones away.'

“People like that are now suddenly also involved in women's football, the great women's experts, and some even call themselves women whisperers. That made me smile a bit.”

What are the difference between women’s and men’s football?

Covic is working hard to break down barriers and level playing fields, but concedes her life is still made more difficult than it should be by contradictory approaches within the male and female games.

She said: “With women, there is a huge fight for sponsors, supplier contracts and equality. You fight for everything, so to speak. It is much easier for an average male Bundesliga player than for an average female Bundesliga player.

“One of our national players is the only one without a supplier contract. Adidas says they don't have the money, but when I hear that an average male player can go shopping with the whole family, and even the agent, at the expense of the supplier, I don't know what to say.

“We have always worked closely with Puma because they were the only brand that supported women's football. Now they have the problem that the players are being poached by Adidas and Nike.”

The bigger picture

On the advice that is offered to female footballers, Covic said: “Some of the players don't care if the advice is bad or if they have no significant experience in women's football.

“Men come in expensive cars and fancy brands and tell them how rich they are and which famous men they have already worked with. That impresses the girls. This makes them fall for people who have nothing to do with women's football. Some players and parents are way too naive.

“A German female national player once thought it was great that she became the first woman to work with a big men's agency. Yet they have never worked with a woman and have no idea whatsoever. Some of them just make you shake your head.”

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