- Argentinian union FAA running a breast-cancer awareness campaign
- Union announced the purchase of a high-tech digital mammography unit
- Available to its members free of charge to encourage check-ups
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, when people all over the world show their support for everyone affected by breast cancer.
Argentinean union Futbolistas Argentinos Agremiados (FAA) used this month to developed its own national awareness campaign together with the Argentinean Football Association (AFA) and the Argentinean Referees Association (AAA).
It also made a very important announcement for the region: the purchase of a high-tech digital mammography unit, offering free care to its affiliated women’s players.
“This is the first South American union to have a unit of its own,” said Nestor Fabbri, current president of FAA women's football and former player with Racing Club, Boca Juniors and Nantes, among others.
In the hope of taking the campaign further among its members at the start of the Federal Cup in November, FAA is inviting the team captains to get a first-hand look at the unit and spread the word among their team-mates on the benefits of this technology.
One of them is Mariana Gaitan, captain of UAI Urquiza, one of Argentina's most successful clubs.
"This was very important news for all of us. It gives us peace of mind to know that we can get this very important check-up and other tests. We are all very grateful to the union," said Gaitan.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women worldwide. 22,000 cases are detected each year in Argentina, according to data from the Ministry of Health, but misinformation and lack of funds can prevent early detection.
Both the national campaign – including the men's first division teams – and the benefits provided by FAA aim to mitigate those factors.
“Now we have this tool, I'm sure we'll all want to come and get this important check-up to know how our bodies are doing,” Gaitan said. “It's a relief. Before, maybe we didn't do it because of low resources or because we didn't know exactly what it was all about. Women have to understand and know what to do for our wellbeing.”
The mammography unit was financed entirely by the FAA. The project also received support from the Argentine Football Association (AFA). "The AFA always supports our union," added Fabbri.
Futbolistas Argentinos Agremiados
• Division: Americas
• Established: 1944
• FIFPRO Member since: 2019
• Website: agremiados.com.ar
“Even though the mammography unit was brought in with women's football in mind, it is a useful device across the board: for the players, their partners, and also for partners of affiliated players," said Fabbri. "The goal is above all prevention; to avoid undesirable situations."
In any case, the benefit for Fabbri forms part of a comprehensive plan to systematically improve conditions for women's football in Argentina.
"It is growing leaps and bounds as we try to improve conditions for professional women’s footballers. They are aware that this is no longer a case of playing among friends; that it is professional. As they take better care of themselves, they will perform much better on the pitch, we will see better performances, sponsors will come, and sponsors bring money."
"Women's football feels support from all sides, even more so from Agremiados," added Gaitan. "At the first sign of any inconvenience, we come here. Not only from a health point of view but also from an educational point of view. A player can train here at Agremiados."
“It gives us peace of mind to know that we can get this very important check-up and other tests.”— by UAI Urquiza captain Mariana Gaitan