In an inspired win against sexism, two male footballers who said that a female referee “belonged in the kitchen” have been ordered to train with the women’s team – so they can learn first-hand just how well women understand the beautiful game.
The misogynistic comments were made in the wake of a clash between Czech teams Sparta Prague and Zbrojovka Brno on Sunday. During the game, assistant referee Lucie Ratajova – a highly-qualified match official who has presided over Women’s World Cup matches – opted not to flag a Brno player as offside.
Her decision rather upset Sparta goalkeeper Tomas Koubek and midfielder Lukas Vacha. But rather than respecting Ratajova’s decision, they reverted to the most tired, boring weapon in a sexist’s arsenal: telling her to get back to the kitchen.
Koubek said that “women belong at the stove” while on the pitch, according to the BBC. After the match (in which Sparta and Brno drew 3-3), he went on to announce that “women should not officiate men’s football”.
Vacha echoed his teammate’s sexist comments, referring to Ratajova as “the cooker”, and posting a picture on Twitter with the comment “to the stove”.
Now, officials at Sparta Prague have ordered Koubek and Vacha to train with the club’s women’s team.
Sparta chief executive Adam Kotalík called Koubek and Vacha’s remarks “unacceptable”. He told local media: “The players will spend several days with the club’s female side so they can see women have plenty of worth outside of the kitchen.”
With delightful understatement, Iva Mocova, the captain of Sparta’s women team, said: “We are looking forward to the boys training with us.”
Czech international Koubek later posted a picture of his wife and daughter on Facebook, saying that he wanted to “apologise to all women”. Vacha, meanwhile, said his “comment was directed to a specific error which affected the outcome of the game, not for any other women”.
The Football Association of the Czech Republic's disciplinary committee is due to review Koubek’s remarks this week.
Image: Rex Features/Getty