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The incredible performance of the England women in this year's Euros is helping shine a light on the need to bring about more equal opportunities in football for young girls.
But an article from inews.co.uk has detailed the difficulties young females face in getting into football and issues even at clubs in the Premier League.
A parent whose teenage daughter plays for the Crystal Palace juniors' girls side and has been there for five seasons, told the newspaper that they must pay £50 a month to play for the Eagles.
That fee goes towards costs for pitches, kits and referees, but there's a stark contrast to the situation with the boys.
"It’s training every Tuesday and Thursday and then there’s games on Saturday, we pay £50 a month via direct debit,” the father told inews.
“It’s not the same with the boys, they class the boys as elite – they are still treated superior.
“And at the end of the season, several girls were dropped from the team. They said they were not good enough. They said you can’t come back to play.
“There are clubs where it’s free to play but the issue is that people believe there is a pathway to the WSL [Women’s Super League] at Palace.
“For me it’s not just Palace, it’s the FA. They have not looked at women’s football carefully. Where is the FA investment?
“My daughter loves football,” he said, but added: “She’s thinking: ‘do I change sport?’”
While the girls wear the red and blue stripes and play against other Premier League sides, they are not technically part of the academy set-up and haven't trained at the £20 million start-of-the-art training facilities.
In response, Palace said there is no official Women's Academy but did pledge to increase funding and opportunities in the near future.
Junior football ends at 16 but while the boys typically have formal contracts - albeit unpaid until they have finished school studies - it is not usually the case for girls.
And England legend Lineker has called for clubs to do better.
Lineker's reply comes after Arsenal legend Ian Wright made a passionate demand for young girls to get the opportunities they deserve and create a legacy.
"Whatever happens in the final now, if girls are not allowed to play football just like the boys can in their PE after this tournament then what are we doing?", Wright said on BBC.
"We've got to make sure that they are able to play and they've got the opportunity to do this because it's going to inspire a lot of people.
"Like there's no legacy to this? It there's no legacy after this then what are we doing?
"Girls should be able to play because this is as proud as I've felt of any England side. This is what it's about."
The FA have set themselves a target of achieving at least 75 per cent equal access for football in PE lessons in two years.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Alamy
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