Paris-based Cacahuètes Sluts are among a growing number of women’s teams getting creative with the game and their vision for its future. Founders Fati and Iris talk to GOLASO about what makes them tick.
GOLASO: First of all, who do you support?
We support several teams. France womens and mens team, PSG, and our coach is very fan of the Red Star FC. We were also very impressed by the Netherlands women’s team during the European Cup.
We support several teams. France women’s and men’s teams, the PSG teams, and our coach is very big fan of the Red Star FC. We were also very impressed by the Netherlands women’s team during the European Cup. But, I think we like the players more than the teams.
Tell us a bit about Cacahuètes Sluts…
Cacahuètes Sluts is a women’s amateur football team, creative, inclusive and committed! Created five years ago by Fati (the captain) and a couple of friends based in North Paris.
At first, it was just for fun and there was no official structure. The team had grown little by little, and now it’s an association with 18 players and trainer/coach Julien.
Why the name?
It’s a long story with many interpretations. During the first training, we played barely one hour and we drank beers for hours! We were talking about the training, and I said “Girls, we play like peanuts”. I meant that we didn’t play very well and that there was definitely room for improvement.
Another girl added “Maybe we play like peanuts but we’re sluts”. She meant that we were going to work and not give up. We were determined to create a new way and a new image of women’s amateur football.
This name has not always been easy to handle for all our players, the translation of “sluts” in French is very pejorative. But we knew that eventually we would reap the benefits of the name. It challenges people, it creates curiosity and gives us the image of a strong team who is not afraid to take responsibility.
I wasn’t in the team yet, but it kinda impress me at first. It’s a badass name. But we definitively need to be more sluts than peanuts!
What is the purpose of Cacahuètes Sluts?
At first we just wanted to have fun, play football with friend and meet other teams. Then we realised that we had a broader goal, which was to give exposure to girls who practice football amateur and encourage more women to play.
Fati created the team because she wanted to continue playing football but not the way they play in regular clubs. The idea was to mix the sports aspect — training and competition — with each girl’s creativity and our love of football culture. This is one of the reasons why we created a visual identity of the team and Facebook and Instagram pages very quickly. We wanted to share our adventures and our vision of football.
What do you think about the growth of the women’s game?
Women’s Football is now more visible thanks to the World Cup, Olympic Games or the European Cup. But outside of these events it doesn’t make many headlines in the media.
Women’s football is growing in popularity but it’s still very fragile. There are still plenty of countries where women are not welcome in a stadium as supporters or as players because of their gender.
The first women’s World Cup was only in 1970, forty years after the first men’s competition. We are still well behind men.
What barriers do you think still exist that would stop women getting into the game?
Definitely stereotypes about the game and misogynistic mentalities. If the members of UEFA, coaches, clubs and brands pushed it more, women’s football would have a better image.
It is more penalised than other sports practice by women because we always compare the women’s game with the men’s game. While the tennis, fencing, basket ball, swimming, running, even boxing, etc, the two categories are clear and are not in competition against the other.
How do you think the women’s game is viewed/perceived currently?
Professionals see that women’s football is making progress. During the European Cup, the Netherlands women’s team proved they can play at a very high-level. That is good for women’s football. But when you talk to a taxi driver or to your neighbour, they still consider women playing football like a ‘fantasy’ and tell you that the way women play is “too slow” and “too cerebral”. Nothing new here: these are the usual stereotypes about women!
However, brands have understood that there is something happening with it, at least for marketing and sales. Puma has chosen many women as brand ambassadors, as French player Eugenie Le Sommer or freestyler Lisa Zimouche, and many brands did the same – Nike with Alex Morgan (USA) and Like Martens (Nederlands), Underamour with Kelley O’Hara (USA). Umbro with the goalkeeper Asley Harris, etc.
What’s your feeling on the stereotypes that exist in the game, whether male or female?
The first stereotype is about money: men are paid too much to play football and women are not paid enough to do so. Unfortunately, this one is true. There is also an idea of corruption and show-off attitude in men’s football.
For women, we hear about a “non-attractive game” and it’d be the reason why there are fewer spectators in stadiums. And last but not least: all women who play football would be gay or you’d look like men. Like everywhere else, there are all kinds of girls. This idea is just a way to imply that we try to imitate men.
It feels like there is a strong creative and innovative culture within grassroots women’s football, with a lot to draw inspiration from. Who do you draw inspiration from?
When you are a girl, playing football is not what is expected from you. So, we must be creative and inclusive. Creative with the name of your team or with your football kit, for instance. You must constantly be innovative if you want to draw attention to women’s football.
Firstly, we were inspired by street culture, street football and by the feminist and punk universe of roller derby. We also have a lot of respect for the work done by the football team and association Les Dégommeuses, who fight against sexist, racist and homophobic discriminations in sports. Then, we were attracted by trendy and fashion amateur leagues like Le Ballon FC or ‘Underground Football’ and by some Japanese teams, because we had things in common.
We also have the chance to have many creative people among our players: drawers (@iriscopyright, @gaadjika, @darumi00), artistic director (Flavie), architect (@s_guedes), players who like to write (Isa, Fati, Juliette) and the professional photographer Sarah Bastin.
Our first event was a unisex babyfoot tournament because we wanted to show that for us, it does not matter if you’re a boy or a girl, if you can play football or not – the most important is to mix with people who have the same passion, football.
What are your plans for the future?
We are currently engaged in an indoor five-a-side competition until February. Then, we will celebrate the CS CHRISTMAS, in order have a toast to football! And we are invited by the SFCF Internazionale to play this summer in Berlin with Romance FC, an amazing team that we already played in September in London, and we are super excited to do it together!
Finally, we are looking ti the second edition of our “Baby-Foot Summer Cup”. A lot to come, though!
GOLASO was speaking to Fati and Iris – Founders of Cacahuètes Sluts
Cover photo © Raffaele Conti
© Raffaele Conti
© Raffaele Conti
© Sarah Bastin
© Sarah Bastin