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Nfl Player Turned Doctor In 2015 Ecuador qualified for its first World Cup in women’s soccer, despite this, women’s soccer continues in its early stages. This was evident in the results that the Ecuador team obtained in the Canada 2015 World Cup, being eliminated from the tournament in the group stage with 0 points and -16 goal difference. However, this was a great experience and a great achievement for women’s soccer in Ecuador, more than anything it was an experience where the manager, coaches and players were able to learn and see the reality of women’s soccer both in Ecuador and in other countries.
Even though the sport is in its early stages, there are clubs with more than 10 years of experience in women’s soccer. Espuce is a men’s and women’s team, which unlike the vast majority of soccer teams in Ecuador, its female squad plays in a higher division than the men’s and is also more popular. With more than 10 years of national and international experience, Espuce has established itself as one of the best women’s soccer teams in Ecuador. Since creating a national women’s soccer tournament recognized by the Ecuadorian Soccer Federation (FEF) in 2013, Espuce has remained among the top 4 teams in all editions of the tournament, so much so that in 2014 after being crowned champion of The first stage obtained a quota to participate in the Women’s Libertadores Cup in 2015.
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To the surprise of many, the conditions in which Espuce has achieved so many triumphs and has come to be recognized as one of the best women’s soccer teams in the country, have not been optimal. Espuce was founded in 2005 by former professional soccer players and former students who were looking for a space where they could continue practicing the sport they love so much. 12 years later these young people continue to support the team they created and which they are now part of off the field.
None of the players, coaches or team leaders have received financial compensation to date, however all continue to support the team as on the first day. 12 years since its foundation, Espuce does not have a field where he trains and he fights day by day to create a better space and a better team for his players.
The women’s team plays in Series A of the women’s soccer championship organized by the FEF. Espuce trains three days a week in the evenings, as this is the only time that players who work and / or study can get to training. Trainings are held in the same park where the team has been training since its inception. This in one of the few places where you can find free and illuminated synthetic courts for training at night. 12 years after Espuce was founded, the park’s conditions have improved, but the reality of women’s football and Espuce has not changed much. Performing daily training is difficult since Espuce is not a professional club and the players have other responsibilities and jobs, in addition to playing soccer.
When a player suffers an injury, in most cases, she has to seek private treatment to be able to return to the field as soon as possible. The team does not have the funds to have a medical department that takes care of the players, that is why the medical expenses are borne by each player. In the event that the player does not have sufficient means for this, all team members look for ways to help them either by seeking care in public services or putting a financial quota among all. In 2016 the team managed to make an agreement with a sports center which provides a kinesiology doctor for all official matches. This has been of great help to our players, however it is not enough and Espuce hopes to create more and better agreements in the future to offer his players the best. Espuce has an annual budget of approximately $ 35,000 lots, however his monthly income is $ 0.00.
The coaching staff is made up of a coach and ex-players who have now obtained their coaching license and contribute their knowledge to the team. Despite the fact that the players with whom the club was founded are no longer part of the club on the court, they continue to support Espuce outside the court. Several have become coaches, others have become sponsors through their companies, and all cheer on the team from the stands. This support has been key to the development of the team in its 12 years.
Unfortunately, Espuce does not belong to any private entity that supports the club unlike other amateur teams in Ecuador. Several teams belong to universities and / or private companies that provide financial and logistical support to the teams. Espuce is an independent club that is managed by its members, where everyone contributes in some way on and off the court.
Despite all these adversities, the club has been able to get out on the court, especially thanks to the perseverance and love for the shirt that each one of the people who make up Espuce has had. The players, coaching staff and managers sacrifice their time, their family, their money, among other things, to support Espuce. Unlike a professional team, the economic remuneration that all these people receive is nil, however the best reward is to see Espuce win on the weekends, without losing hope that success on the field will cause tension in the media. communication and private companies to support Espuce.
Espuce is currently working on a strategic plan to improve the club’s situation and make it an organized and profitable team for private companies. The plan ranges from looking for a fixed and appropriate space to carry out their training to promote their players in the international market. Despite the efforts that Espuce makes to bring forward the team and women’s football in particular, the support of the FEF is essential for this development, since without the support of an official organization it is practically impossible for women’s football to take that step forward.
The Ecuadorian women’s national championship is organized financed by the CONFA (National Commission for Amateur Soccer), which is under the FEF and regulates amateur soccer in Ecuador. Previously, the championship was financed by the Ministry of Sports and organized by CONFA. Since 2016, CONFA is the only body in charge of the national women’s soccer championship. Said tournament does not have official sponsors and its continuity depends only on the good will of the FEF to provide the necessary resources for the development of the championship. In 2016 the championship should have started in April, however it was postponed until October due to lack of financial resources. For the next years the continuity of the tournament is not confirmed since the resources may disappear, since there is no obligation through the FEF or a stable income stream for the development of said championship.
In 2015 the FEF received $ 2 million for Ecuador’s participation in the 2015 World Cup in Canada, the players who made up the team received approximately $ 2,000 each of the 23 players. Where it’s at the rest of the money the FEF received, it’s still an unanswered question. Why do CONFA and FEF continue to say that there is no budget for the development of an appropriate women’s soccer championship?
After having qualified for the 2015 World Cup in Canada, women’s soccer had a boom in popularity within Ecuador, however this boom is disappearing. If the FEF does not take advantage of this boom that is going through women’s football and take the moment to focus on its development, it will take years and perhaps decades for this sport to become a professional and profitable sport in which player, body technician and leader you can make a profession.