The 2019 Women’s World Cup will be absent the first Ballon d’Or winner as Norway left Ada Hegerberg of its squad for this summer’s tournament.
Hegerberg has been absent from the Norwegian national team since 2017 as a protest for how female players are treated in her home country. The Norwegian Football Association struck a new deal with players just months after her protest began that nearly doubled the available funds for player salaries, but she has yet to relent.
In February, Norway head coach Martin Sjogren confirmed he offered her a place in the team, saying “We tried to solve it, we had meetings, but she decided not to play.” The move was confirmed on Thursday with her absence from their official World Cup squad.
Hegerberg’s older sister Andrine, who plays for PSG and has 17 national team caps, was also absent from the squad.
Hegerberg is one of the world’s most decorated players for her age, having already won the Champions League three times at just 23 years old. She has 129 goals for Olympique Lyonnais in just 103 appearances, and will play for a fourth Champions League title on May 18. Hegerberg earned 66 caps for the Norwegian national team before stepping away. She won the inaugural Ballon d’Or on the women’s side after the award was extended to a male and female presentation, and was infamously asked to twerk by presenter and DJ Martin Solveig, seemingly adding fuel to her fight against gender discrimination.