1st place: Norway; 2nd place: Sweden; 3rd place: Brazil
Real and Official: an experimental FIFA World Cup
Women's football was growing, gaining practitioners and clubs around the world. Some teams organized regional and “mundialitos” without FIFA support, but these competitions no longer satisfied the desire to legitimize the sport. The Women's World Cup needed to happen, whether it was a top priority or not. In 1988, FIFA organized the Experimental Women's World Football Tournament, an unconvincing and low-investment bet. In opposition to this spirit, the teams from the 12 countries participated in a “heart-exploding” atmosphere: improvisation was counterbalanced by a lot of passion for the sport.
For the first time, women's national teams competed in an official FIFA championship — a historic milestone witnessed by the Chinese public, which came excitedly to the stadiums. Coverage by the international press was modest and, in Brazil, only one reporter followed the players' journeys on Jornal dos Sports. Claudia Jacobs was still an intern and, thanks to her, there are photographic records of our pioneering selection.
In organizing the tournament, the teams had to deal with the same prejudice that kept women away from football for decades: disbelief in their physical condition to be able to practice it. Some considered replacing the traditional ball (No. 5) by a smaller one (No. 4), indicated for practitioners from 8 to 12 years old. Idea dismissed, and the players did not escape paternalism and were forced to play matches lasting only 80 minutes. The measure was extended to the following Cup.
1) Brazil finishes in 3rd place, in a stadium packed with 35,000 people
2) Cebola (striker) and Roseli (striker) in the All Star Team