Former United States forward Megan Rapinoe has criticised the Spanish football federation after Sunday’s World Cup final.
Her recent remarks highlight the ongoing uphill battle female athletes confront as they strive for parity in a traditionally male-dominated field.
Spain’s 1-0 win over England in Sydney was overshadowed by Rubiales kissing forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the presentation ceremony.
In a recent interview with the Atlantic magazine, Megan Rapinoe aptly described the plight of female footballers campaigning for equality as “playing two games at the same time.”
“There was another picture that signals such a deep level of misogyny and sexism in that federation and in that man (Rubiales) at the final whistle, just grabbing his crotch.
“What kind of upside-down world are we in? On the biggest stage, where you should be celebrating, Jenni has to be physically assaulted by this guy.”
Female footballers like Rapinoe have brought greater visibility to the sport, the journey toward achieving equality remains arduous and complex.
Rapinoe’s assertion that some had been “waiting for this stumble” highlights the heightened scrutiny and scepticism that female footballers often experience.
Any setback, no matter how minor, is seized upon as validation of pre-existing biases against women in sports.
This pressure can add an additional layer of stress to players’ already demanding careers.
The Women’s World Cup is meant to be a celebration of the talent, dedication, and achievements of female footballers from around the globe.