Our ladies looked off yesterday. After noticeably missing their star player, word leaked out today that Tatiana Bonetti is a step or two away from taking her skills to Spain to ply her trade for much, much more money.
Understandably fans have been hurt by this news, and they are not alone. According to Italian media, Rocco Commisso and Joe Barone were both incensed. Tatiana (and Alia Guagni before her) can not be blamed for her choice. Blame lies right at the feet of the FIGC (previous article here).
To date England is the gold standard for women’s football in Europe with several leagues, including Spain’s, following closely. Far behind all of those countries is Italy’s Serie A. Not because it lacks talent or stars, but because it can not keep them based on wage and benefit rules pertaining to professional female athletes in Italy. To add again how insane this is, coaches like Antonio Cincotta do not qualify for Italian pension benefits because he has coached an amateur club and is therefor considered an amateur coach.
Think about this for a minute. Players like Alia, Tatiana and Elena Linari, who are amongst the world’s most talented players must move outside of the country they lovingly grew up in and represent in order to make a professional wage. How backwards is this system? Considering it is part of the same system that fights Rocco tooth and nail on a stadium you shouldn’t be surprised.
Now that we have discussed the failures of the FIGC let us turn our attention to what it is we are losing. Since losing Alia, Ilaria Mauro and this weekend’s triumphant returnee Alice Parisi, Tatiana had taken over a very important leadership role for this team and provided Cincotta with a very valuable skill, instant offense.
Since being brought over from AGSM Verona Calcio Femminile at the beginning of the 2016 season, Tati has registered 55 goals in 74 appearances. It was also under Cincotta that Tati got the exposure to showcase her talents for the Italian National Team.
If reports are true that before yesterday’s game Tati let Fiorentina know of her intentions to move to Spain, it will be a huge loss. There is no bigger of an indication than that of the game itself yesterday. If the team did take the field knowing that one of their stars and leaders would no longer be with them it would clearly have an impact, both on tactics and morale.
Time will tell what happens next, and by that we understand within hours to a couple of days. Some have even suggested it is already done - pure speculation at this point. Either way this is a story with only one villain and everyone has the right to feel the way they do. Fans have the right to feel hurt. Rocco has the right to feel betrayed. Her teammates have the right to feel sad and happy at the same time. And Tati has the right to get paid what her talents are worth.
And to FIGC, until you make things right and allow our ladies to be equal, you can p!$$ off!