Soccer

Megan Rapinoe: ‘It’s on FIFA to invest a lot more money,’ to make World Cup competitive

Megan Rapinoe: FIFA still hasn’t gone all in on women’s soccer

USWNT star Megan Rapinoe discusses the lack of balance when it comes to FIFA supporting women's soccer like it does for the men.
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USWNT star Megan Rapinoe discusses the lack of balance when it comes to FIFA supporting women's soccer like it does for the men.

The United States women’s soccer team entered the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France as the defending champions with a target on their back.

After Tuesday’s 13-0 victory against Thailand, there was reaction via social media and with some Canadian broadcasters ripping Team USA for celebrating every goal in the lopsided win.

While Team USA’s players and coaches defended the way they performed and celebrated, Megan Rapinoe, who scored one of the 13 goals Tuesday, spoke on the Fox Sports set in France and outlined how the tournament could be more competitive.

Hint: she put the onus on FIFA.

Here’s what Rapinoe said:

“If we want to talk about strengthening the game top to bottom, let’s talk about FIFA. Is FIFA putting all of the money they can into all of these federations leading up? I’ve heard stories of Chile only played a couple games in the last three years. Argentina. I don’t know how many games Thailand played. But if you want the field to be better top to bottom, we can’t do that by playing that team. So we’re just out here playing as well as we can. Obviously, our federation supports us very well. But for me personally, I think its on FIFA to invest a lot more money and mandate to all these federations around the world to invest in their women’s programs, not just from a financial standpoint, from a manpower standpoint as well.”

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.

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