feminism FIFA

A Feminist History of the FIFA World Cup Draw

4:43 PMAleks Vee

by Aleks V |

There are many reasons to look forward to the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The draw, to take place on December 1 (10 a.m. EST, 15 GMT) in Moscow's State Kremlin Palace, will not only determine who plays who next summer, but will also set a historic precedent.

Sports broadcaster and former England striker Gary Lineker will share hosting duties with Russian sports journalist Maria Komandnaya. This marks the first time a female sports journalist is conducting the draw, and only the third time in history a woman with a background in football is involved.

Komandnaya, a familiar face in Russian sports coverage, has over a decade of experience in radio and television. Her resume includes FOX Sports, Match TV, and Moscow FM. She's also editor-in-chief of the-challenger.ru, a Russian fitness and lifestyle website.

A post shared by Maria Komandnaya (@komandnaya) on

Komandnaya's presence will be a welcome change from the models and actresses that have graced the stage of the WC draw over the years. It would be highly optimistic, however, to say that it might not be long before a woman is front and center. After all, it took 14 World Cups for women involved in football to take part in the draw, and 17 World Cups for a woman to be one of the hosts.

The 90s took the draw to the next level, thanks to the first edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup in 1991. Players like Michelle Akers and Julie Foudy, who featured in the draws for WC 94 and 98, became household names. In fact, Akers, along with Mia Hamm, are the only two women named to the FIFA 100.

However, the novelty soon wore off. Despite the ever-rising popularity of women's football, the men's World Cup draw no longer featured female players as participants. Sure, Brazilian striker Marta was present at the 2014 World Cup Final Draw. But she never took part, not even as an assistant.

The draw for the 2018 World Cup has potential to be a turning point, one that will lead to a greater recognition of women in football - both on and off the pitch. The ceremony's influence cannot be underestimated - the 2006 draw was watched by 300 million people in nearly 150 countries around the world.

The WC draw has come a long way in its representation of women, but has an even longer way to go.

A Feminist's Timeline of the FIFA World Cup Draw

- July 10, 1930
No records available.

- May 3, 1934
According to Soccer Nostalgia, the grandson of General Giorgio Vaccaro assisted with the draw.

- March 5, 1938
No women present. Jules Rimet's 10-year-old grandson, Yves Rimet, takes part in the draw.

- May 22, 1950
No women at this draw, either.

- November 30, 1953
The draw is made by Emil Landolt, then mayor of Zurich.

- February 8, 1958
The draw is conducted on the set of Stora famnen at the Cirkus TV studio in Sweden. TV host Agneta Ljungström and another woman assist. This is the first known record of women at the World Cup draw. Radio presenter and sports journalist Sven Jerring, CONMEBOL rep Lorenzo Vilizio, and TV personality and journalist Lennart Hyland conduct the draw.

- January 18, 1962
The only photo available shows male reporters at FIFA's office.

- January 6, 1966
No women present.

- January 10, 1970
The draw was made by Monica Maria Cañedo White, 10-year-old daughter of Guillermo Cañedo, president of the Mexican Football Association.

- January 5, 1974
The draw was conducted in Frankfurt with the help of 11-year-old Detlef Lange, a member of the Schöneberger Sängerknaben boys' choir from Berlin.

- January 14, 1978
No records available.

- January 16, 1982
Spanish schoolboys assist in the draw, which made use of revolving drums. Confusion ensued when Scotland was placed in the wrong group.

- December 15, 1985
Three young boys assist in the draw, held at the Televisa studios in Mexico City.

- December 9, 1989
Italian actress Sophia Loren assists with the draw.

- December 19, 1993
Three women share the stage as draw assistants - 1991 Women's World Cup champion Michelle Akers, Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton, and actress/model Carol Alt. They're joined by several male celebrities. Robin Williams co-hosts the draw with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

- December 4, 1997
FIFA Women's World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Julie Foudy is the sole female assistant during the draw, held at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. This is the only draw that has been hosted at a stadium thus far.

- December 1, 2001
There is one female assistant during the draw. She is not identified in captions of photos from the draw.

- December 9, 2005
The Final Draw is hosted by FIFA comms director Markus Siegler and model/actress Heidi Klum.

- December 4, 2009
The draw is hosted by FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and actress/producer Charlize Theron.

- December 6, 2013
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is assisted by actress, model, and TV host Fernanda Lima.

*To be hosted by Gary Lineker and Maria Komandnaya.
December 1, 2017
10:00 a.m. EST | 15:00 GMT
US: Fox, Telemundo

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  1. 1938 - March 5, 1938
    No women present. Jules Rimet's 10-year-old grandson, Yves Rimet, takes part in the draw.
    1950 - May 22, 1950

    Interesting that Jules Rimets grandson was still 10 in 1950....

    One wonders why you are creating at issue about female representation at an event which from a playing perspective is exclusive to men. Maybe an article about the lack of female participation at Womens World Cup draws would carry greater weight?

    1. Pointing out an issue is not creating one. Consider for a moment how it would look if male models who knew nothing about football were regulars at the Women's World Cup draw.

      That said, the women's game has always had male pros present, from the pitch to the press box. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of female representation in the men's game.


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