A race row has broken out over Arsenal Women’s squad photo for the 2023-24 season, with many fans furious that it does not feature a single player of color.
Two days ago, the Arsenal Women’s Twitter posted the official 23/24 squad’s photo along with head coach Jonas Eidevall and their 22/23 FA Women’s League Cup.
The photo, however, wasn’t received well by the internet as users online berated the Gunners for only having “white people” in their squad and having a lack of diversity represented in their squad.
Fans used the terms such as “Scandinavian FC” and “Racist FC”, claiming that the club is picking players based on the colour of their skin. Many even claimed that manager Jonas Eidevall was behind this entire controversy, using quotes such as “Jonas said, If it ain’t snowing I ain’t going”. Throwing shade at the Swedish coach for choosing players based on their color and not having enough representation.
The story however, has been exaggerated by users online as it does not show the full story. While Arsenal Women’s is dominated by white players of British or Australian descent, it also includes the likes of Giovana Queiroz and Laia Codina who are Latin players from Brazil and Spain respectively.
Many fans were quick to the club’s rescue stating that race has nothing to do with the selection of the players as the game has become so cutthroat that players can only be selected on merit and skill and that managers, coaches and scouts have trusted them to represent Arsenal Women’s because the believe they are their best chance to compete for titles.
One user was quick to point out that Crystal Palace’s men’s team gets a pass for having a similar situation where the squad is dominated by black players but aren’t berated for their selection or having a lack of diversity and representation in their team.
The Crystal Palace side gets a pass…— 'Seeing is believing' (@dave24144975) October 14, 2023
When not enough diversity 'PROBLEM'
When too much diversity (fewer white people) 'No PROBLEM' pic.twitter.com/OPJLSedW8M