Megan Rapinoe on today’s triple-feature of soccer finals : “It’s ridiculous”
Untied States co-captain Megan Rapinoe hit out on Saturday at the scheduling of the women’s World Cup final on the same day as two major men’s international finals and said FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s pledge to double the prize fund for the tournament is not enough.
“It’s terrible scheduling for everyone. That’s a terrible idea to put everything on the same day, in every way,” Rapinoe said at a press conference as the USA aim to retain the World Cup in the final against the Netherlands in Lyon on Sunday.
The game is being played at 1500 GMT, just hours before Brazil take on Peru in Rio de Janeiro in the final of the Copa America. Later, the USA men’s team will attempt to retain the CONCACAF Gold Cup when they meet Mexico in the final in Chicago.
Megan Rapinoe: "That's a terrible idea to put everything on the same day." pic.twitter.com/fGvI4QZQbH
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“There are two other finals going on but this is the World Cup final, this is like, cancel-everything day,” said the outspoken 34-year-old midfielder.
“I don’t think that we feel the same level of respect certainly that FIFA has for the men and just in general.”
In response, a FIFA spokesperson said that the scheduling of the finals had been arranged after “a comprehensive consultancy process” involving “all key stakeholders” and pointed out that efforts were made to avoid any direct clashes.
Rapinoe was speaking 24 hours after Infantino hailed a “phenomenal” tournament in France and announced a set of proposals for the future of the women’s game.
Among them was a pledge to double prize money for the women’s World Cup in time for the next tournament in 2023.
An overall contribution of $50 million was made for this year’s tournament, which included doubling the prize money from $15 million to $30 million.
However, the prize money for the 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia was $400 million, and Infantino also hopes to increase the women’s tournament from 24 teams to 32.