‘It’s so patronising’: Gianni Infantino criticised for comments on women ahead of World Cup final

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Gianni Infantino’s comments have sparked reaction on social media after the Fifa president encouraged women to “just push the doors” saying that they have the “power to convince us men”

Many have been left in a dumbfounded state of disbelief once more as yet another insensitive Infantino speech has surfaced, this time at a Fifa women’s football convention in Sydney in the build-up to the women’s World Cup final.

“And I say to all the women – and you know I have four daughters, so I have a few at home – I say to all the women, that you have the power to change,” the president said, in a strange attempt to show that he somehow relates to the struggles of women in football with his use the father-of-daughters narrative.

“Pick the right battles. Pick the right fights. You have the power to change. You have the power to convince us men what we have to do and what we don’t have to do. You do it. Just do it.

“With men, with Fifa, you will find open doors. Just push the doors. They are open. And do it also at national level, in every country, at continental level, in every confederation. Just keep pushing, keep the momentum, keep dreaming, and let’s really go for a full equality.”


His comments were deemed “patronising” and were quickly criticised, providing an unwelcome throwback to statements he made at last year’s men’s World Cup in Qatar where he gave his infamous speech, including the phrases “today I feel gay” and “today I feel disabled”.

Football commentator Jacqui Oatley was one of a deluge of people who shared their views in reply to women’s football reporter Tom Garry’s post on social media platform X which read: “Gianni Infantino said, to the women in the room: “Pick the right battles. You have the power to change. You have the power to convince us men what we have to do and what we don’t have to do. Just do it. With men, with Fifa, you’ll find open doors. Just push the doors.”

Oatley replied to the post saying: “This quote is actually…extraordinary. Though we shouldn’t be surprised. We’ve been battling for decades against this sort of nonsense. So, so poor from Infantino.”

Sports reporter and presenter Beth Fisher also expressed her disbelief and frustration as a result of the comments made in reaction to the same post.

“Didn’t think he could top “I feel gay” speech but this is utterly infuriating from the guy who heads up world football. Why have we got to convince you like we’re asking for a new car or something!? It’s so patronising I can’t deal and…JUST OPEN THE DOOR YOURSELF FFS!!!”

Australian football writer Samantha Lewis said in her response: “Infantino says this like women haven’t been banging on the door of football for over a century. it’s not women who lack the initiative or the knowledge or the ideas, it’s because men still own the house and haven’t let us in!”

Sports podcast and video producer Sophie Penney added to the discussion with her reply, saying: “So many things wrong with this from Infantino. Puts all the onus on women, men shouldn’t need ‘convincing’, what does he think we’ve been doing for the past however many years, patronising… I could go on.”


This was followed by a series of two additional posts by Penney, each with a picture of a door with the captions ‘Should I? #FIFAWW’ and ‘Is it time? #FIFAWWC #Infantino’.

Like Penney, many also chose to express their thoughts in the form of pictures, while others also joined the discourse with strongly worded posts.

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