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In Bosnia, women footballers play against the patriarchy

SHOTLIST MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINAMARCH 13, 2019SOURCE: AFPTV IMAGES (01:25): 1. Low angle shot 'Emina' female footballers running on an auxiliary pitch of 'Velez Mostar' at the beginning of a training session 2. Wide shot female footballers do stretching exercises 3. Mid shot several players during stretching 4. Mid shot two female footballers holding hands during a stretching exercise 5. Low angle shot female footballers during a warm-up exercise 6. Close-up footballer's feet during a warm-up exercise 7. Wide shot pitch and players during training, with "Velez Mostar" football club written on the wall, which lends its stadium to the formation of "Emina" 8. Mid shot footballers and an assistant coach during training 9. Mid shot footballers on the pitch in front of the inscription "Mostar" on the wall 10. Close-up feet of female footballers who take up position for a sprint exercise 11. Low angle shot footballers sprinting 12. Low angle shot Head coach Zijo Tojaga (sound) passing a ball to a female footballer during a shooting excercise 13. Mid shot goalkeeper saves shot 14. Low angle shot coach Zijo Tojaga explaining the exercise 15. Mid shot Zijo Tojaga's feet passing a ball to a footballer 16. Close-up through the goal net of several female footballers waiting in line to shoot, with Irena Bjelica running to shoot 17. Wide shot goal when one of the footballers scores MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINAMARCH 10, 2019SOURCE: AFPTV IMAGES (00:50): 18. Wide shot several female footballers who, after training, drop their belongings in a storage room 19. Mid shot Irena Bjelica putting her sneakers on the shelf 20. Wide shot family home of Zijo Tojaga and his wife Sevda Becirovic Tojaga, president of the club, with footballers who live with them coming in 21. Mid shot Sevda Becirovic Tojaga and two footballers, including Irena Bjelica, washing green salad for lunch 22. Close-up Sevda Becirovic Tojaga's hands washing the green salad 23. Wide shot three female footballers, including Irena Bjelica and Dragica Denda, who fill plates with soup 24. Tilt up a plate filled with soup to Dragica Denda who handles the ladle 25. Wide shot footballers having lunch 26. Close-up food as someone helps herself 27. Mid shot footballers around the table MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINAMARCH 10, 2019 IMAGES (00:52): 28. Tilt up the feet and hands of a footballer who takes the ball during a training match against a boys' team to take a throw-in 29. Mid shot match 30. Wide shot players of both teams during the match, with the name of the club "Velez Mostar" written on a wall at the back 31. Mid shot Minela Gacanica takes the ball from a boy and passes it 32. Close-up Minela Gacanica running and asking for the ball 33. Mid shot Minela Gacanica receives the ball and scores 34. Mid shot Sevda Becirovic Tojaga applauds on the sidelines 35. Low angle shot Head coach Zijo Tojaga, facing the players sitting on the bench at half-time 36. Mid shot Zijo Tojaga speaking to the players 37. Mid shot players listening to the coach's criticisms, including Minela Gacanica MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINAMARCH 13, 2019SOURCE: AFPTV IMAGES (00:20): 38. Extreme wide shot Old Bridge of Mostar, symbol of the city 39. Mid shot tourists walking on the bridge 40. Close-up man in a red jacket in charge of bridge security, in the middle of a minaret and the bell tower of a Catholic church 41. Minela Gacanica walking on the bridge MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINAMARCH 10, 2019SOURCE: AFPTV 42. SOUNDBITE 1 - Dragica Denda, captain (Serbian, 15 sec): "Our club is proof that religious affiliation is not an obstacle. What matters is the human being, his behaviour. I think our club is an example of harmony." 43. SOUNDBITE 2 - Sevda Becirovic Tojaga, president (Bosnian, 21 sec): "We put the girls on the first floor of our house and kept the living room to ourselves. We sleep in the living room. We open our couch and that's fine. During the day, we're all in the living room, the kitchen is next door, we've made a small bathroom just for the two of us, and they're upstairs in the bedrooms." 44. SOUNDBITE 3 - Zijo Tojaga, head coach (Bosnian, 25 sec): "In our country, we still consider football to be exclusively male, unlike other European countries. When you watch matches of teams from France, Norway or Spain, the stadiums are full. Here we barely manage to attract about fifty or a hundred spectators, even when it's the national team playing." 45. SOUNDBITE 4 - Irena Bjelica, player (Montenegrin, 10 sec): "At home, my relatives were all against it. Only my grandfather supported me and he would sneak me to training. But they all finally accepted it." MOSTAR, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINAMARCH 13, 2019SOURCE: AFPTV 46. SOUNDBITE 5 - Milena Gacanica, player (Bosnian, 17 sec): "I think there is a particular beauty in women's football. When people come to the game once, they realise that it's sometimes better than a boys' game." ///-----------------------------------------------------------AFP TEXT STORY: FEATUREIn Bosnia, women footballers play against the patriarchy By Rusmir SMAJILHODZIC =(Picture+Video)= ATTENTION - Pictures by Elvis Barukcic. Video by Rusmir Smajilhodzic ///Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 24, 2019 (AFP) - As a young girl, Irena Bjelica had to furtively sneak to football training in defiance of a family who thought she would be better suited as a dancer or model.Today the 24-year-old is a defender for one of Bosnia's top women's football clubs, a team that is winning matches but still trying to win more fans as it battles gender norms in the patriarchical Balkans."My relatives were all against it," recalled Bjelica, adding that only her grandfather supported her love of football as a youngster in neighbouring Montenegro, where she grew up.As she proved her prowess on the pitch, the rest of her relatives eventually came around. But she has also found a different kind of family in Emina, a club founded three years ago in the southern Bosnian town of Mostar. "The coach and the president are like our parents...while the other players in the club are like my sisters," explained Bjelica, who lives with her teammates in the house of the club's founders, who sleep in the living room so that the players can share bedrooms upstairs. Emina is part of a small sporting scene for women in Bosnia, a conservative country where many still see football as a man's game. Their sporting infrastructure also pales in comparison to many of the countries competing in the Women's World Cup in France, which Bosnia did not qualify for. Only 1,264 women -- compared to 41,625 men -- play in registered clubs in the Balkan state.The 31 women's clubs mostly owe their existence to football enthusiasts, such as Emina's founders Sevda Becirovic Tojaga, a 56-year-old pharmacist, and her husband Zijo, 57.The idea was born in May 2016 while Sevda was watching an international women's match on TV and called her husband to say: "We are going to start a club."They have ignored the boys who look at female players with an "evil eye" or call them "lesbians," she added.Sponsorships from suppliers of Sevda's pharmacy help cover each player's 200 euros ($223) of monthly "pocket money". - 'There to be looked at' - "In our country, people still consider football to be exclusively male," explained the coach Zijo, a former player and coach for Velez Mostar.Parents still "try to keep their daughters away from football," he added. Some prominent Balkan football players and coaches have welcomed their female counterparts to the sport. But others have expressed galling disapproval. In a 2014 documentary by Al-Jazeera Balkans, Zdenko Jelic, a former director of Zeljeznicar of Sarajevo, made the lewd remark that fans would only go to a women's match "to hunt down a T-shirt that is rising up"."Women's football, women's judo, women's boxing... And then what? I would prohibit all this by a galactic law!" he added. Sports commentator Milojko Pantic also sighed that "women are becoming men, men are becoming women".Meanwhile, former Croatian coach Ciro Blazevic admitted to having seen women play "wonderful" football.But he claimed that the pitch was not their rightful place. "I love women so much... I respect them so much that I'm afraid they might be hit in the breast by an elbow," he said."They are there to be looked at, to be in a window, to be cuddled, protected and not crushed."- Under one roof - Minela Gacanica, a 19-year-old striker for Emina, believes the culture is slowly changing, even if it is only one fan at a time."Everyone criticised us" in the beginning, she said. But after "people come to see the game once, they realize that it's sometimes better than a boys' game."Named after a poem by local writer Aleksa Santic, the Emina club has thundered up to the top of the table in the first division this season, sitting third behind Iskra Bugojno and champions SFK 2000 of Sarajevo.Today the best players are being selected for the national team, though they are still hoping to bring out bigger crowds. "We barely manage to attract 50 or 100 spectators here, even when it's the selection that's at stake," said Zijo.The group is also ethnically diverse, with women hailing from Bosnia's Muslim, Orthodox Serb and Catholic Croat groups in a country that is politically divided along these lines. For the club, this diversity is a point of pride. "Our club demonstrates that religious affiliation is not a barrier," says playmaker Dragica Denda, 28, a Bosnian Serb from southeast Trebinje."What matters is the human being, and their behaviour."rus/ng/ssm/as/iwd -------------------------------------------------------------

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