Google seeks to recover women's hidden football history

Google seeks to recover women's hidden football history

For nearly seven decades, women's soccer was banned at varying times in many countries.

When Google set out to create a comprehensive history of women’s soccer around the world, the information just wasn’t available, so the tech giant decided to take matters in its own hands.

For nearly 70 years - between 1921 and 1979 - women’s soccer was banned at varying times in many countries around the world, including the U.K., Brazil, Germany and France. The bans were put in place for absurd reasons, such as the fear of soccer leading to infertility or making women masculine. But women played anyway – secretly.

Google is now shining a light on this hidden historical period with The Offside Museum, a digital platform at Google Arts & Culture that will feature the undocumented stories of women’s soccer over the decades. The initiative was created in partnership with AKQA.

Starting today, users can submit their own photos and stories on, and on June 24, Google plans to reveal the digital museum to the world. June is the month of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

"We want to bring visibility to the importance of recovering women’s football history. The Offside Museum ensures that everyone has the opportunity to know about these women that kept playing even during the prohibition and helped open doors for the next generations," said Lauren Pachaly, marketing director from Google Brazil.

Additionally, Google has created a film for The Offside Museum, featuring Léa Campos, the first female referee in history who was arrested 15 times during the women’s soccer prohibition.

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