Ball on the ground! 

In recent years, we have seen a huge growth in women's football in Brazil and around the world. The media, state federations and the Brazilian Football Confederation have been trying to organize a programming calendar for the advancement of the sport in the country, but it hasn't always been like this. 

The players have fought to end the ban, overcome prejudice and, with resilience, are winning the game that isn't over yet. 




Between the beach and fields: the 1980s and 1990s 

The 1941 decree banning women from playing football didn't stop them from taking to the pitch in Baixada Santista, according to athlete Silmara Lopes. Wishing to play ball and their talent for sports, even during the ban period, women held meetings in closed spaces and organized their games. 




"We played indoor football because at the time of the ban it was easier not to be seen, as the courts were covered. Sometimes we went to play on the field, which was actually a 'bare ground', and if someone came along we had to leave quickly, because it wasn't allowed, it was forbidden. It was only released in 1983," Silmara Lopes, 2023.  


The ban ended in 1979, but the sport was only regulated in 1983. That same year, the first Women's Indoor Football Championship was organized in the city of Santos, sponsored by Companhia Antártica Paulista and Esporte Clube Itapoã (where the matches were played), with the technical supervision of the Liga Santista.  

The Antártica Cup was attended by 15 teams from the Baixada Santista region and one team from the capital, the Grêmio Recreativo Rossi. This team won the tournament and Silmara was the top scorer in the competition with 21 goals. As the highlight of the championship, Sil, as she was known, was invited to play for the Cidade de Santos team.