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'It's not a straight shot' to winning the World Cup - U.S. women's head coach Ellis

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on May 24, 2019 - Duration: 01:27s

'It's not a straight shot' to winning the World Cup - U.S. women's head coach Ellis

The United States may be favorites to retain their Women's World Cup title but U.S. Women's National Soccer Team head coach Jill Ellis said that it won't be a "smooth ride" when the tournament gets underway in France on June 7.

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'It's not a straight shot' to winning the World Cup - U.S. women's head coach Ellis

VIDEO SHOWS: VARIOUS OF U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM AND HEAD COACH JILL ELLIS +++AUDIO AS INCOMING+++ SHOWS: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MAY 24, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM COACH, JILL ELLIS, SITTING AT NEWS CONFERENCE 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM COACH, JILL ELLIS, SAYING: "You look back historically over World Cup champions, it's not a smooth ride.

It's not a perfect ride." 3.

WHITE FLASH 4.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM COACH, JILL ELLIS, SAYING: "Coming out of 2015, you know, I just realized that it's OK not to look perfect.

It's OK to make sure that your players remain in that bubble, stay focused and stay true to who we are and keep the belief internally.

So I think that's probably the biggest takeaway, that it's not a straight shot." 5.

U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM PLAYERS CARLI LLOYD, ALEX MORGAN AND MEGAN RAPINOE SITTING AT NEWS CONFERENCE 6.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM PLAYER, MEGAN RAPINOE, ON FIFA, SAYING: "I would like to see a major paradigm shift and sort of a major overhaul and kind of a double down realizing that there's been such a lack of investment for all of these years and such a lack of care and attention that, you know, doubling or tripling or quadrupling investment, care, attention, to the women's game I think would be appropriate." 7.

WHITE FLASH 8.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM PLAYER, MEGAN RAPINOE, ON FIFA, SAYING: "I guess incremental change is better than none at all.

But for the resources and for the ability that I feel like FIFA has to implement that change, I think that they're not doing nearly enough." 9.

LLOYD, MORGAN AND RAPINOE AT NEWS CONFERENCE STORY: The United States may be favorites to retain their Women's World Cup title but U.S. Women's National Soccer Team head coach Jill Ellis said that it won't be a "smooth ride" when the tournament gets underway in France on June 7.

"Coming out of 2015, I just realized that it's OK not to look perfect," she said.

"It's OK to make sure that your players remain in that bubble, stay focused and stay true to who we are and keep the belief internally.

So I think that's probably the biggest takeaway, that it's not a straight shot." Hundreds of thousands of tickets have been sold and world governing body FIFA is banking on the women's game taking a huge step forward on the back of a successful tournament.

As ever, discussions about gender equality will never be too far away, and despite the fact that FIFA has doubled the prize money on offer since the 2015 event in Canada, it has still come in for criticism.

The players set to light up the Women's World Cup in France next month earn a fraction of the money paid to their male counterparts.

The vast pay inequality was one of the reasons that prompted Women's World Cup holders the United States to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation in March.

All 28 members of the 2015 World Cup-winning squad were named as plaintiffs in federal court in Los Angeles in the lawsuit which outlined complaints about wages as well as other aspect of their working conditions when compared to the U.S. men's side, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The group that includes high-profile players such as Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan said they have been consistently paid less money than their male counterparts even though their performance has been superior to the men's team.

"I would like to see a major paradigm shift and a major overhaul and a double down realizing that there's been such a lack of investment for all of these years and such a lack of care and attention that doubling or tripling or quadrupling investment, care, attention, to the women's game I think would be appropriate," Rapinoe said.

"I guess incremental change is better than none at all.

But for the resources and for the ability that I feel like FIFA has to implement that change, I think that they're not doing nearly enough." The eighth edition of the Women's World Cup will be contested by 24 teams in nine cities across France, with the hosts facing South Korea in the opening game at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

(Production: Aron Ranen, Roselle Chen)

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