“We are not allowed to sleep with our husbands from 2 days before a football match,” Zimbabwe female football physiotherapists revealed the well known football secret.
It could have been better if it was just bedroom sanctions they have to deal with, however, there is a lot of abuse and ill treatment that female medics have to put up with in a male dominated industry especially so in Zimbabwe’s top flight football.
“It is a game of endurance as they have to deal with abusive fans and players in addition to unwritten club rules and regulations that prohibit them from sleeping with their spouses ahead of soccer games,” said female football official.
Some of the physiotherapists that have been ill-treated include Jacqueline Sarandega of Hwange Football Club, who faces many challenges like male egos and working hard to prove that they can do the job like their male counterparts.
Another medic Sibusisiwe Mtunzi of Tsholotsho Football Club says at times they are abused by football fans and players.
Mtunzi says her worst experience was when she was allegedly beaten up by Dynamos player at Rufaro Stadium for attending to an injured player.
She claims that the player thought that she was time-wasting as they were leading Dynamos by a solitary goal.
Sarandega adds that she also once suffered in the hands of some Dynamos fans who called her a prostitute when she entered the field of play to attend to an injured player.
Sarandega says she was shocked to hear such derogatory remarks.
In terms of the use of juju or traditional medicine in soccer, both say they are now used to it. Mtunzi simply says when in Rome, one has to do what Romans do.
They are not allowed to have sex with their spouses a day or so before any Premier Soccer League match as per some unwritten rules of the game.
There is a belief that bedroom activities may bring bad results to the team.