Women’s soccer has taken leaps forward with the 2015 World Cup, as record viewership numbers in the United States come rolling in.
But on a world scope, US midfielder Megan Rapinoe still believes there’s plenty to do, and she’s unimpressed as FIFA president Sepp Blatter has taken a congratulatory stance on his previous accomplishments rather than focus on what still must be done.
“Sepp kind of had the mindset of any help that he threw to the women’s side he should be congratulated 10 times over for,” Rapinoe told Goal.com. “Doing the right thing doesn’t earn you a pat on the back. Just because you’re promoting the Women’s World Cup and promoting the women’s game doesn’t mean that’s the best thing that’s ever hit the world.”
Blatter has trumpeted many improvements to the women’s game over the past decade as his doing, calling himself the “godfather” of women’s soccer, but has also left much to be done. While the popularity of the game has no doubt increased, Rapinoe’s point is there is more work to be done to place women’s soccer on a level playing field with the men – both literally and figuratively.
This World Cup has seen television viewership figures in the millions in the United States and around the world, but the tournament was still rigged to procure certain likely matchups in the knockout round, hurting the tournament’s competitive balance. Until the women have a draw equivalent to that of the men, and until the women get an acceptable playing surface, Rapinoe’s “yeah, but” statement will always ring true.