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BELGIUM’S football federation said today, on International Women’s Day, that it refused to be held “hostage” by women who objected to its selection of an artist who has used vile sexist lyrics to write the country’s official World Cup song.
The federation said it would stick with Damso, a man known for lacing his songs with misogynistic and obscene lyrics, saying that his tune would unify the country.
The team’s sponsors, however, said they would consult on whether it is wise to keep the rapper.
In a statement, the federation whinged that the Women’s Council, an umbrella body for feminist groups, had not complained earlier. The federation’s board consists entirely of men.
Damso insisted online that his songs were more complicated than their misogynist and abusive language implied. He attacked the media for criticising his misogyny, saying that they should instead promote Belgian artists.
Sponsors of the team were less bullish than the federation and suggested they might intervene.
“Football is the sport for unity and to choose something like this which causes such a rift in society is a major worry for us,” said Florence Bribosia of the Belgian construction construction multinational Besix, the team’s official sponsor.
“We stand for values,” said Peter Dercon of brewing giant AB Inbev. He did not say what action could be taken.
Belgian Equal Opportunities Minister Zuhal Demir said it was an incomprehensible decision by the federation to stick with an artist whose lyrics she considered vile, describing sexual scenes with men dominating women.
Many said his vulgar language in previous songs made him worthy of all the criticism.
“As a federation, how can you defend this in front of your sponsors and especially families and women? Even men,” Demir wrote, before posting some of Damso’s most criticised lyrics on her Facebook page.
They read: “I’m going back to get you better from behind, slut.
“I’m in the pit when I get out of your ass, she doesn’t suck so well, doesn’t have a deep throat… I fuck you like a dog even if you wear a headscarf.”
In another one of his songs, Vagabond, he states: “Vagabond, I hang out, looking for pussy, I’ll never like how I love myself, I’m the most important of my life.
“You make me a kiss, I do not even know who you sucked, the place of your mouth is in my boxer shorts.”
The Women’s Council vowed to take further action,
In an open letter to 13 sponsors, it said it was “unacceptable” someone like Damso would become “the official standard bearer of our country. What does this say about our society? That we don’t have any problems with hate speech toward half of humanity?”
The group plans to lodge a complaint with Belgium’s equal rights office if the federation doesn’t ditch the misogynist.
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