The incoming boss of the United States Women’s National Team Emma Hayes has claimed that England is more sexist than the USA. The current manager of the Chelsea women’s team has faced major challenges in being one of the driving forces behind the rapid development of women’s soccer in England. However, she is leaving Chelsea at the end of its current campaign to head the USWNT. There, Hayes says she will coach in a more accepting society for women’s athletics.

“We do, we live in a more sexist society in England [than the US] with regards to football,” Hayes said. She attributed that to the history of soccer, and sports as a whole, in the United Kingdom. Even though women’s soccer has a massive footprint in the game, organizing bodies largely shut down women’s soccer after World War II. That opened the door for men to dominate the game in the way they still do today.

“That’s because it’s been long-established over a longer period of time and when we were banned from the game for a long period of time. So many boys, men, haven’t grown up for long periods of time [seeing] girls and women in and around the game of football, let alone women’s football. Therefore, it’s understandable that their confirmation basis and their experiences and their prejudices are done in such a way, because they’re used to something, and it’s a real challenge to the norm.”

Recent spells of sexism in England

The conversation about sexism recently hit a head with comments Joey Barton made regarding women working in soccer. There have been more women covering and commenting on soccer around the media. Still, Joey Barton took offense to their work. Collectively, women joined together to take pride in their work covering the sport. Also, Eni Eluko and Lucy Ward are taking legal action against Barton for his comments.

Emma Hayes attributed much of the discourse and sexism to social media. She said social media has had a negative impact on a handful of topics in society. Hayes said the new technology has prevented people from having sensible conversations.

“If you think about lots of things in the last 10 years in this country, from Brexit, to our populism, to our division in politics, for me this is just another moment that’s escalated because sadly a little bit of social media can create such a divide in such a vitriolic way, instead of us having ‘sensible conversations’.”

Emma Hayes moving from England to the US

When Emma Hayes arrives in the United States, she will have the major task of turning around the USWNT. The side managed its worst-ever finish at the Women’s World Cup in 2023. Now, the expectations for the USWNT will be at an all-time high. Hayes carries an impressive resume into her first stint with a national team.

Her record with Chelsea is unmatched. Chelsea has been dominant in the Women’s Super League with the last four titles. Success in the UEFA Women’s Champions League has eluded Chelsea, though, and it finished runner-up in the 2020/21 season.