USA may have won the Women’s World Cup, but the nation appears to be the only one celebrating as the team comes under renewed criticism for its ‘arrogance’ during the tournament.
Striker Alex Morgan faced widespread abuse for a notorious tea-drinking action during the US’s 2-1 win over England in the semi-final.
To add to this, the players’ celebrations were dubbed excessive during their 13-0 stomping of a far weaker Thailand side.
But despite the backlash, the Americans went on to win their record fourth Women’s World Cup title and second in a row, beating the Netherlands 2-0 when Megan Rapinoe converted a penalty in the second half and Rose Lavelle added another.
The USA players celebrate with the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy in the dressing room following their team’s victory against the Netherlands. They wore ski masks, which was reportedly to keep the celebratory champagne out of their eyes
United States’ Megan Rapinoe holds the trophy celebrating at the end of the Women’s World Cup final. The Americans went on to win their record fourth Women’s World Cup title and second in a row, beating the Netherlands 2-0
Morgan’s celebration (pictured) last night was slammed as ‘disrespectful’ as it appeared to mock English people’s love of tea
(Left) Megan Rapinoe thanks the fans after scoring the U.S. soccer team’s 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the World Cup final on Sunday in Lyon. (Right) Rapinoe embraces longtime teammate Alex Morgan
United States’ forward Megan Rapinoe poses with the Golden Ball next to United States’ midfielder Rose Lavelle with the Silver Ball after the France 2019 Womens World Cup football final match between USA and the Netherlands
United States players celebrate their victory in the Women’s World Cup final soccer match on Sunday in Lyon
After weeks of uproar over its sportsmanship and elaborate goal celebrations, the United States women’s soccer team has won its fourth World Cup with a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in Lyon, France. ‘We’re crazy,’ captain Megan Rapinoe said after the U.S. won its second consecutive World Cup title. ‘That’s what makes us special’
The team had been confident throughout the competition, but for many across the world it has been seen as arrogance.
The claims triggered a backlash that the angry response was sexist, but Twitter users have continued to hit out at the team’s confidence following Sunday night’s result.
Soon after the match, the U.S. Soccer WNT’s Twitter page posted: ‘Dominant. From beginning to end.’
Later, it added: ‘Greatness. The biggest stage.’
Soon after the match, the U.S. Soccer WNT’s Twitter page posted: ‘Dominant. From beginning to end’
But an Englishman commented: ‘Dominant. From beginning to end. ???????????? are you really kidding me? how arrogant can ‘you’ be? congratz for the winning but do not talk bullc**p here.’
And others quickly took to Twitter to publicly criticise the world champions.
Laura from Holland put: ‘Rapinoe ruined it for me with her arrogance towards Sari, sorry. Why do Americans always have to go the arrogance route? This is why the world sees you as arrogant – because you are.’
Another unhappy Dutch fan wrote: ‘If it was literally any other country I could accept losing, but I can’t stand the thought of those smug arrogant Americans winning.’
Another posted: ‘Too smug. I always hated loud mouth people. They are good but your play should speak for you. the political bullc**p and the stupid gloating after goals just makes people think that they are just more ‘stupid Americans.’
Gordon Robertson from Nottingham said: ‘A great tournament but the USA has definitely harmed the women’s game that is not how you conduct yourself on the world stage but well done to all the other nations.’
An Ajax fan from Holland put: ‘It’s called football. Only arrogant Americans, who think they’re the only country in the world that matters, call it ‘soccer’.’
And a Spanish women named only as Estelle added: ‘Americans keep their image of being arrogant people well done you.’
Yet some weighed up the team’s confidence against their high-quality performances.
One man commented: ‘The American women are brash, confident, some would say ‘arrogant’ but they have an indomitable winning mentality and jeezo can they back up the banter.’
The Americans opened the tournament with a record 13-0 rout of lowly Thailand, triggering debate over whether the celebrations after each goal were excessive.
Morgan responded the next match by following a goal with a polite golf clap. Then she stirred it up again when she scored against England with a tea sip, pinkie outstretched.
There was also controversy before the match, as Lionesses coach Phil Neville discovered US women’s team staffers scoping his team’s hotel.
United States’ midfielder Lindsey Horan (R) celebrates with United States’ forward Megan Rapinoe (2R) after scoring a goal during the France 2019 Women’s World Cup Group F
Mallory Pugh celebrates one of 13 goals the U.S. women scored in Reims, France
Alex Morgan of USA celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal to make it 12-0
Megan Rapinoe of USA celebrates with fans after winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 preliminary round match between USA and Thailand in Reims
A pair of US staffers visited the Fourvière Hotel, which is close to the old town, while England was out at a practice.
The England-born US coach Jill Ellis insisted it was a sign of good preparation rather than arrogance, because the Americans were considering using that hotel if they advanced to the final.
But Neville claimed it was bad etiquette to scout the hotel before winning the semi-final.
The England-born US coach Jill Ellis insisted it was a sign of good preparation rather than arrogance, because the Americans were considering using that hotel if they advanced to the final
‘It’s important that our team has confidence,’ Ellis said. ‘I don’t think in any way this is an arrogant team.’
Defender Ali Krieger said in June that the strength in depth available to Ellis means that the US actually have the best team on the planet and also the second best team.
Defender Ali Krieger claimed the US have the best team and second best team on the planet
But it was Morgan who became a highly polarising figure for celebrating the go-ahead goal against England in the semi-final by pretending to drink a cup of tea with her pinky upright – something many saw as being disrespectful to the English.
But nobody generated more controversy than Rapinoe.
The US captain has made headlines off the field during the World Cup, most notably, when a previously recorded interview with Eight by Eight magazine showed her declaring she would not ‘go to the f***ing White House’ if the Americans win the tournament.
Alex Morgan celebrated with the gesture after scoring the United States’ second goal on Tuesday
The United States star hit back at critics following her goal celebration at the World Cup
She has also refused to sing the national anthem before games after previously kneeling in protest in 2016.
The US Soccer federation has since implemented a rule requiring players to stand, and Rapinoe has complied.
Rapinoe did not sing the national anthem before Sunday’s game.
After shaking off a hamstring injury in the quarterfinals of the World Cup to return to the starting 11 against the Netherlands on Saturday, Megan Rapinoe was already making headlines before the first whistle blew
The fiery forward, 34, refused to sing along to the national anthem prior to kick-off, standing emotionless with her hands clasped behind her back
This is not the first time Rapinoe has opted not to recite the words of The Star-Spangled Banner, she has not taken part in the anthem since 2016. She even chose kneel during the hymn through much of 2016, until the US Soccer Federation implemented a new rule requiring players to stand
In response to Rapinoe’s claim that she wouldn’t attend the White House if USWNT won, Trump hit back on Twitter this week, writing: ‘I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!’
The self-described ‘walking protest’ to President Donald Trump has also made headlines on the field, where she scored five goals before sitting out the semi-final win over England with a hamstring injury.
‘I’m like a kid in the candy story right now,’ Rapinoe said. ‘This is the absolute best stage. I already feel more anxious and more nervous than in any of the other games.’
U.S. SOCCER STAR MEGAN RAPINOE CALLS OUT FIFA
Megan Rapinoe called out FIFA on the eve of the Women’s World Cup title match.
Her criticism Saturday ranged from the gap in prize money between the men and women, to scheduling that put the World Cup final on the same day as the Gold Cup final in the United States and the Copa America final in Brazil. Rapinoe and the United States play the Netherlands on Sunday for the championship.
A day earlier, FIFA President Gianni Infantino had announced that he’ll seek to expand the tournament field from 24 to 32 teams and double the prize money for the women. But even doubling the pool from $30 million to $60 million doesn’t diminish the gap with the men’s World Cup prize money, which is set at $440 million for Qatar, up from $400 million in Russia last year.
Rapinoe has maintained that FIFA doesn’t truly care about the women’s game.
Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. during the warm up before Saturday’s World Cup final in Lyon
‘If you really care are you letting the gap grow? Are you scheduling three finals on the same day? No, you’re not. Are you letting federations have their teams play two games in the four years between each tournament? No, you’re not,’ Rapinoe said. ‘That’s what I mean about the level of care, you need attention and detail and the best minds that we have in the women’s game, helping it grow every single day.’
Inequity between the men’s and women’s World Cup had been stark since before this year’s tournament started, focused on the prize money and scheduling, but also on the promotion of the event.
Asked what would ensure the growth of the game globally following this summer’s tournament, Rapinoe sang the opening refrain from the O’Jays song ‘For the Love of Money.’
‘Money, Money, Money, Money. Money from FIFA, money from federations. Money from advertisers, sponsors, rights-holders, TV. All of that. And obviously not just blindly throwing cash at things, but investing in infrastructure, in training programs and academies for women, in coaching for women. All of it,’ she said. ‘I don’t think you get to the point of having an incredible business by running it on a budget that’s a dollar more than it was last year. You have to make up-front investments and really bet on the future.’
Infantino sought to address concerns Friday, pointing to the successes of the tournament in France, including record television audiences.
Rapinoe shared her displeasure with FIFA on Saturday
‘Nothing is impossible and based on the success of this World Cup of course we have to believe bigger and to do what we should have done already probably some time ago,’ Infantino said. ‘But now we have the evidence to do it for women’s football.’
Approval to expand the field for the 2023 Women’s World Cup would have to come quickly because bidding is already under way. The 37-member FIFA Council is due to vote for the host next March. Nine countries have expressed interest, with formal bids due Oct. 4.
He’ll also propose raising the women’s prize money, team preparation funding and cash for clubs releasing players to $100 million, up from $50 million for France. However, men’s teams in Qatar will see those funds go up to $649 million.
FIFA’s cash reserves at the end of 2018 stood at $2.74 billion.
‘I understand it’s a very complex problem,’ Rapinoe said. ‘But the resources are there and I think the willingness and the brain power is all there, the people wanting to work in the women’s game and make it as good as we can, it’s all there. It’s just a matter of wanting to do it and caring enough about it, to make it happen. I mean, we’re making a World Cup in Qatar happen.’
Rapinoe did praise the U.S. Soccer federation for its support of the women’s national team. The comments come despite a federal lawsuit the players filed against the federation, accusing it of discrimination and seeking more equitable pay to the men’s team. The two sides are expected to mediate the dispute when the World Cup is over.
‘We don’t often give them kudos, but that’s definitely one that I’m willing to give. They back the team in a very strong way and have pushed the game, not only in our country but around the world, to a level that without us, we wouldn’t be here in the world game,’ she said. ‘So I think that they do deserve a tremendous amount of credit for that, and we’ll continue to nudge them forward.’