Team USA’s Megan Rapinoe is not happy with FIFA’s “ridiculous and disappointing” scheduling decision.
The US Women’s National Team soccer star expressed her frustration over Sunday’s crowded television schedule as the United States and the Netherlands get set for the Women’s World Cup final in France.
“It’s ridiculous, and disappointing, to be honest,” Rapinoe complained, according to the New York Post.
At issue is a triple lineup of championship games set to air Sunday as the U.S. women’s soccer team goes for its fourth World Cup. The Copa América and CONCACAF Gold Cup, two men’s tournaments, will air soon after the women’s final.
A win by the U.S. on Sunday would mean the Americans will join Germany as the only teams to win the tournament twice in a row. That, according to Rapinoe and others, should mean the women’s event gets to bask in the spotlight for a day without being overshadowed by other finals.
“It’s terrible,” former American midfielder Aly Wagner said.
“It is so disturbing to me that the Women’s World Cup does not have its own day to stand on its own and have a final to highlight these tremendous athletes and their work and their accomplishment,” Fox’s lead World Cup match analyst added. “They wouldn’t dream of doing it to the men. Why would they do it to the women?”
The schedule lines up Women’s World Cup final beginning at 11 a.m. EDT on Fox. The Copa America final will follow at 4 p.m. EDT on ESPN+ and the CONCACAF final at 9:15 p.m. EDT on FS1.
“The scheduling of the different events has gone through a comprehensive consultancy process, which has involved all key stakeholders and taken into account different aspects of the women’s and men’s international match calendars,” FIFA said in a statement.
“It is a rare and exciting occurrence,” it added, noting that playing the three finals on the same day will be a great way to bring attention to all.
The decision to schedule the Gold Cup final for Sunday, however, was not a planned move and was due, instead, to a “clerical error,” CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani told The New York Times.
“I really am a believer in the rising tide lifts all ships,” David Neal, executive producer of Fox’s World Cup coverage, said, according to the New York Post. “Because of the timing of them, it’s probably not going to hurt anybody.”
In fact, advertisers did not seem to be as concerned as Rapinoe and others.
“It doesn’t alter in any way shape or form what we plan to do. I’m not sure whether it’ll splinter viewership or not,” Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer of Visa, said.
Ricardo Fort, of Coca-Cola Co., another FIFA partner, seemed to agree.
“The priority for Coca-Cola is the FIFA Women’s World Cup and we’re going to do everything we can to bring a lot of attention, a lot people in front of TVs, to watch the game, to watch the final,” he said. “Too bad for the other finals. I’m pretty sure the Women’s World Cup final is going to be a big global event again.”
But the US women’s team, vocally pushing the gender equity issue, sees the move as another insult as they have been battling what they see as inferior treatment than what is afforded to the men’s teams.
“I don’t really understand why there’s such a resistance against going all-in on women,” Rapinoe lamented. “I think it’s pretty clear women in sport have not been treated with the same care and financing and all of that that men’s sports has.”
Rapinoe was benched ahead of the World Cup semi-final against England on Tuesday, after a profane rant against President Trump. The midfielder for the US Women’s National soccer team, who sparked controversy after taking a knee during the national anthem, was asked about the team visiting the White House if they won the World Cup.
Rapinoe’s reply that she was “not going to the f—ing White House,” prompted a response from Trump who noted the team had not even yet been invited.
Trump puts disrespectful kneeling US soccer star in her place for saying ‘I’m not going to the f—ing White House’ https://t.co/y7psfMungY
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 26, 2019
“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear, Trump tweeted.
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