Gigi Becali, the owner of a major Romanian football team, Steaua Bucharest, who has more than once been heard making racist and sexist remarks, said it goes counter “to human nature” and is “dangerous” for women to play football, adding that he would quit professional sport if he was ever tasked with setting up a women’s team.
The remarks occurred during his appearance on the television channel Pro X in a live phone-in session. Becali, who was earlier implicated in a kidnapping case and at some point was granted an award for being the most homophobic person in Romania, told the program "Ora exacta in sport" responding to the question about a potential female team:
"You can't do things against God's will”.
"How can a woman play football? She isn't built for playing football. Her body isn't made for football. It's dangerous. The female was created to be beautiful, to attract the opposite sex”, Becali noted, adding football is way too aggressive for the fragile female nature.
When asked if such an approach would be a way of bringing Romanian football in line with Western football values, Becali replied that that it would more likely mean an alignment with “Satan’s ideas”.
Becali’s ultra-conservative views were instantly picked up online, with some opting for very serious rebukes against the club owner. One even complained about the ignorant approach being, sadly, shared by millions around the world.
The only thing against human nature is the fact people like him have these opinions.— Daniel Hanney ⚽ ✈ (@DanHanney) 21 декабря 2018 г.
Football would be better off without this bloke.— Loyal Football Co. (@LoyalFootballCo) 21 декабря 2018 г.
A living dinosaur— Phillip Tucker (@philtuck2005) 21 декабря 2018 г.
“Showing he is still stuck in the decade he was born in”, one Twitterian summed up.
Very hilarious remarks also flooded the comments sections on Twitter, with many jokingly referring to the Bible, as well as the philosophy behind the game of football in general:
“Oh ye….I remember reading about women's football in the Old Testament”, one noted, with another “praising” the man’s effort:
“Stay classy, George”, another remarked, tongue-in-cheek.
Which god? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? R'amen.— NWSLVAR (@icecreamaircond) 21 декабря 2018 г.
I can just see the Big Yin up there playing FIFA 19 and saying, 'That Sam Kerr!!! Why does the Devil have all the good players😜😜😜😜⚽️⚽️⚽️— joe (@joe_jtracey) 21 декабря 2018 г.
Others deemed it as natural to direct curses at him, saying he is a “clown” voicing a “load of shit”.
What a load of shite, Gigi Becali is an absolute 🤡 https://t.co/xWfkYI4Zge— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) 20 декабря 2018 г.
Meanwhile, a guest on the sports programme, Romanian journalist Emanuel Rosu, attempted to come to Becali’s defence saying he is an "outspoken character" who enjoys the limelight. "He is not a bad person, does a lot of good things, but shocks you with crazy quotes at times”, he told CNN Sport.
"That's him, people in Romania know him well. He thinks women shouldn't play football because that affects their beauty, not because they are inferior”.
He went on to say that whatever Becali’s first reactions to something, he often changes his mind, which merely points to the fact that he is nothing more than a moody and spontaneous man.
"He's not very serious in what he says. For example, after some games he is so unhappy with his players that he says some are never going to play for him again. That doesn't happen, though. They are out for a week or two and then back in the squad”, Rosu concluded.