UK's first Lingerie Football League launched; slammed as sexist

The Lingerie Football League UK has recently launched in Manchester, with the team ditching traditional kits for something much more revealing.

Team members will be playing their first match on the rooftop of Hotel Football which is owned by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs next Wednesday.

But football coaches and feminist groups have blasted a new league that encourages women to play in skimpy outfits as “sexist”.

Founder Gemma Hughes said she was inspired to set up the club to “fight gender inequality” and raise awareness of the gender pay gap in football.

The team will wear kits similar to volleyball players which emphasise their femininity.

But women’s football coaches have criticised the league for taking a “step backwards”.

Tracey Halpin, coach of Denton Phoenix girl’s team, said LFL UK does not set a good impression for young girls wanting to take up the sport.

She said: “I think it is sexist for a number of reasons.

“Why else would men come and watch women play in their lingerie? It wouldn’t be to watch them play football.

“It seems like a crazy, crazy thing. I have worked with 30 young girls, I don’t think their parents would be impressed.

“It doesn’t set an impression to young girls this is a reason you should play football.

“You don’t see any men playing football in their underwear. I would say it brings it all backwards.”

A description on the LFL UK website said the players are “strong and fit, not soft and skinny”, aiming to be role models for the younger generation.

It said: “LFL UK plan to bring about a football revolution in the United Kingdom, by playing in lingerie.

“LFL UK will increase public interest in women’s football so that women’s teams can play to packed stadiums, just like the elite men’s football teams.”

The Lingerie Football League first launched in America, but has since been renamed The Legends Football League.

Founder Gemma, a lingerie blogger and marketer, said: “What we are doing is bringing women’s football into the limelight. If you look at, for example, tennis the women and men receive the same amount of pay.

“The reason being the women look like women and are not trying to represent the man’s game.

“We are working for the benefit of women.
“These girls are not models they are real footballers. They have played football all their lives and have never had the opportunity to play to a full ground.”

Plans are in place to spread the concept to Dublin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Barcelona. The Manchester league will be the first to launch in the UK.