British pubs sign World Cup charter aiming to improve safety for female fans | World Cup 2022

More than 40 pubs across England have signed up to the This Fan Girl’s World Cup Pub Charter, committing to helping female fans watch matches as the nights roll in.

Amy Drucquer, who co-founded the non-profit digital platform in 2016, had to deal with long winter nights as the manager of a grassroots football club. When the World Cup in Qatar was postponed from the summer, she had concerns about the impact on female fans watching night games in pubs.

“One of the biggest things I’ve had to deal with as a manager of a grassroots club is the change of season,” said Drucquer. “When the lights go out we have so many problems with where we play and where we train. When it gets dark, it’s a very, very different situation. We were abused when we played in the dark.

“We know that as women we have to think very differently about our journey to court. We know that we must avoid certain paths to ensure our safety. When I was thinking about where we would play this winter, I realized that there will be a problem for everyone who also wants to see the World Cup because so many games are played when it gets dark.”

According to a study conducted in the UK by the End Violence Against Women campaign, one in two women feel unsafe walking alone on a quiet street near their home after dark, compared to one in seven men; one in two women feels unsafe walking alone in a busy public place after dark, compared to one in five men; and two in three women aged 16 to 34 had experienced some form of harassment in the previous 12 months – with 44% of women aged 16 to 34 having experienced whistles, whistles, unwanted sexual comments or jokes and 29% themselves so felt they were being followed.

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This fangirl, who aims to create a space for women and non-binary people to connect with football and organizes meetups so they can safely watch football together, has launched a pub charter that she subscribes to can connect.

The charter includes commitments to show all fans are welcome on their websites and social media channels; to offer the possibility of reserving tables before games and consider table service or the sale of beer tubs to limit pub visits; clearly present a code of conduct and ensure that it is understood by all employees; ensuring complaints are taken seriously and constantly using de-escalation methods (turn on lights, play music, serve water) to discourage aggressive behavior. Pubs that sign up will be listed in This Fan Girl’s Pub Finder.

“Everyone who has worked in football for about the last year has been conflicted with this tournament for many reasons,” Drucquer said. “But many are still happy about it. As much as it wouldn’t be where it is in a perfect world, the reality is it’s still being shown and people around the world will enjoy it, and we want to support those who will watch it.”

This fan girl has also teamed up with safety app Help Me Angela to provide free support to women traveling to and from pubs to watch the World Cup.

“Pubs can only go so far; they can’t necessarily help you get there or back,” Drucquer said. “We’re going to release a code that gives free access to some unreal features like location or connecting to a ‘guardian angel’, people to take you home or talk to you on the journey.”

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