The French men’s national team has temporarily displaced the women’s squad from the national team training facilities just days before the country hosts the 2019 Women’s World Cup, continuing to shed light on the battle for gender equality in the sport.
With the men’s side gearing up for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Turkey and Andorra, they have taken over the main national team facilities at Clairefontaine, with the women temporarily relocated to a training facility at Domaine de la Voisine on the outskirts of Paris.
The women are set to begin Women’s World Cup play on June 7 with the opening game of the tournament against South Korea. The men, meanwhile, have a home friendly against Bolivia on June 2, followed by the away Euro qualifiers at Turkey on June 6 and against Andorra on June 11. The men’s friendly against Bolivia is on the complete opposite end of the country from Clairfontaine, taking place in Nantes at Stade de la Beaujoire.
Men’s team manager Didier Deschamps looked to downplay the situation, saying, “They will have Clairefontaine at their disposal for the whole duration of the World Cup so there is no debate. It’s temporary, until we leave for Turkey on June 6.”
Gender inequality has been a hot-button topic in the sport over the last few years, with many top stars in the women’s game speaking out to various lengths. The United States women’s national team is embroiled in a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer for gender discrimination, while Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg – fresh off her third straight Champions League victory with Lyon – will not play in the World Cup as she continues to boycott the Norwegian national team amidst a pay dispute.