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theres a bit of a stir over here at the moment, because the women's national soccer team hasn't been allowed to compete in Olympic qualifying matches. I personally think they should have been given the chance. Here's an article that talks a little bit about the issue.

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The wrong reps?
by Joseph Romanos


I have much sympathy for the New Zealand women's soccer team in their complaints about being denied a chance to qualify for this year's Olympics.

Women's soccer now comes under the umbrella of New Zealand Soccer, which until 1999 administered only men's soccer. In some sports, such as cricket, the amalgamation of men and women into one administrative body has helped the women. That hasn't necessarily been the case with soccer. In 1999, the New Zealand women were ranked 15th in the world; now they're 21st.

The women had the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics if they could beat Australia for the Oceania spot. But New Zealand Soccer decided that would be a waste of money, and preferred to try to develop a women's team for the 2007 World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The New Zealand women recently lost 11-0 to North Korea and this was cited as proof that the team wasn't strong enough to be competitive at an Olympics. Although 11-0 is quite a bashing, what wasn't highlighted was that at the same tournament the women went down only 2-0 to Australia. No wonder the New Zealand women have taken their case to the Human Rights Commission.

It was not beyond the realms of possibility that New Zealand could have beaten Australia and qualified for Athens. What a fillip that would have given New Zealand women's soccer. If the logic of lack of quality is applied to the women, it should equally be applied to the men. On paper the All Whites are way below their Australian counterparts and should not be entered in an Olympic qualifying competition against them.

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there is also some talk of going to the human rights tribunal:(
 
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