The Times recently published a small news piece that claims the FA will instigate a ‘no bag’ policy starting with their next match against the USA in November but this reporting is not entirely accurate.

181002 times fa no bags
The Times, 2 October 2018

There are few details in the piece as you can see above, but it does state very clearly this will be a ‘no bag’ policy for ‘all fans’. I shared the snippet with my team, thinking little of it and carried about my day.

It was only when one of the female members of the DC team highlighted the problems this would cause women did it register me with me that this seems a very sexist policy.

It’s easy to forget that women need to carry certain items that just don’t fit in pockets – or that most clothes designed for women come with pockets that will hold no more than two tic tacs, if they come with pockets at all.

Where, exactly, were period-having people expected to carry sanitary products if they weren’t allowed a bag? This didn’t seem like a very good move from an organisation that wants to encourage more women to enjoy the beautiful game.

A quick phonecall to the FA, however, revealed that the author of the Nib had been more than a little misleading.

Bags larger than A4 will be banned while baby changing and medical bags will be permitted. Small handbags or clutch purses will also not be an issue.

This is not a ‘no bag ban for all fans’ – the FA’s website even says ‘restricted’ rather than ‘no’ – and had a woman written that article instead of Matt Hughes, she probably would have clarified that.