Home » the fight of the women of Olympique Lyonnais to play football

the fight of the women of Olympique Lyonnais to play football

by drbyos

Wendy Renard, defender of Olympique Lyonnais. LA CAP PRODUCTIONS SARL/FRANCE TELEVISIONS


The kick-off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be given on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. In France, where the last edition took place, won by the invincible Americans, the competition found broadcasters six weeks before the deadline.

” Nothing is ever acquiredrecounts, from the outset, the documentary filmmaker Farid Haroud, in Like lionesses. Chis is the phrase I’ve heard the most since I came into contact with the world of women’s football. »

This is the director’s second film on this world still in the process of professionalization in our country, but of which Olympique Lyonnais (OL) is an international benchmark. With 8 Champions Leagues, 16 championships and 10 French Cups to their name, OL dominate the competitions. It is the little-known story of its creation, constantly questioned, that Farid Haroud tells us.

Prohibited from ballooning by Vichy

At the beginning of what could be described as an epic, we find the very persevering Mme Toutain – we would have liked to know more about her – and her brasserie L’Ours blanc, behind the Perrache station. She welcomed leaders, players, coaches.

“We even signed contracts there”specifies Stéphane Benas, curator of the club’s museum, which, according to him, made her a member of the “directing committee of the club without having the title”. Above all, the boss of L’Ours blanc trains and manages her own club, one of the first women’s teams: that of Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon. She achieved the feat of imposing her training as a curtain raiser to an OL match in 1970.

At that time, nothing was more widespread than misogyny and sexist behavior. Banned by the Vichy regime in 1941, the practice of women’s football “comes back from afar”. It is debated by commentators, journalists, all men, all convinced that we need their opinion.

To tell the story, the documentary filmmaker found and brought in the first players – the testimonies of Dominique Rinaudo or Stéphanie Lambert are precious –, but also the current coaches of Lyon, the former players Sonia Bompastor and Camille Abily. Equipment, infrastructure, training, the slow professional structuring of the club has served as a school even in the United States, where the soccer is, above all, a women’s sport.

“Sporting victory is like a protection”, recalls the director. Accompanied by the young left side of OL Selma Bacha (22), whom he confronts in a locker room with a whole historiographical device, he transmits an important history of women’s sport, like a fragment of the heritage of the struggles for freedoms, never acquired, of women.

Like lionesses, documentary by Farid Haroud (Fr., 2022, 52 min). Available in replay on publicenat.fr

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