Women's World Cup: Megan Rapinoe slams FIFA over gender pay gap, scheduling


Women's World Cup: Megan Rapinoe slams FIFA over gender pay gap, scheduling

Megan Rapinoe isn't afraid to speak her mind, and Saturday was no exception.

On the eve of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup final between the United States Women's National Team and the Netherlands, Rapinoe took aim at FIFA for not valuing the women's game as much as the men's. Rapinoe slammed FIFA for the gap in prize money between the Men's World Cup and the Women's World Cup, as well as for the decision to play the Gold Cup final in America and the Copa America final in Brazil on the same day as the Women's World Cup final.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced Friday that he would look to double the women's prize pool. While that sounds like a good idea, doubling the women's prize pool only would bring it up to $60 million, while the men's prize pool sits at $440 million for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The USWNT midfielder noted the relatively empty gesture.

"It certainly is not fair," Rapinoe said of the gap in prize money. "We should double it now and use that number to double it or quadruple it for the next time. That's what I mean when we talk about, 'Do we feel respected?'

“If you really care are you letting the gap grow? Are you scheduling three finals on the same day? No, you’re not. Are you letting federations have their teams play two games in the four years between each tournament? No, you’re not. That’s what I mean about the level of care. You need attention and detail and the best minds that we have in the women’s game, helping it grow every single day.”

When asked what would help ensure the growth of the game after an immensly popular World Cup, Rapinoe broke into song, literally.

“Money, Money, Money, Money, right?" Rapinoe said. "Money from FIFA, money from federations. Money from advertisers, sponsors, rights-holders, TV. All of that. And obviously not just blindly throwing cash at things, but investing in infrastructure, in training programs or academies for women, in coaching for women. All of it. I don’t think you, sort of, get to the point of having an incredible business by running it on a budget that’s a dollar more than it was last year. You have to make nig up-front investments and really bet on the future.

"I think that the women's game has proved time and time again, World Cup after World Cup, year after year that we're worthy of the investment. The quality on the field and the product on the field is there, and we just sort of need that business step to be in line in terms of all the steps we are making on the field in terms of performance. So for me, I always say that, it's always money."

Asked if she felt that her and her teammates get the same respect as the men's game, Rapinoe hit FIFA for its ridiculous scheduling error.

"No, of course not," Rapinoe said. "I mean it's terrible scheudling for everyone. Don't you guys feel disrespected by that? I mean, as someone who works in football, somebody who plays in football, that's a terrible idea to put every game on the same day. In every way. Obviosuly, there's other finals going on, but this is the World Cup final -- it's like cancel everything day. So, no. I don't know how that happened.

"I think I heard somewhere that they just didn't think about it, which is like the problem. That you just didn't think about it, when the World Cup final is set so far in advance. It's actually unbelieveable. So, no I don't think that we feel the same level of respect certainly that FIFA has for the men and just in general."

Rapinoe, who has scored five goals in the tournment, also has drawn the ire of President Donald Trump during the World Cup for saying she wouldn't go "to the f--king White House" if the USWNT won.

[RELATED: Morgan calls out celebration critics for sexist double standard]

The star midfielder didn't play in the USA's semifinal win over England, but is expected to take the pitch Sunday in Lyon.

West Ham-Arsenal live stream: Watch Premier League game online, on TV


West Ham-Arsenal live stream: Watch Premier League game online, on TV

Arsenal needs a win. 

The Gunners' winless streak now spans two managers, as Arsenal manager Freddie Ljungberg is yet to pick up a victory since taking over after Unai Emery's sacking. Arsenal lost to Brighton at home midweek, and now travel to rival West Ham on Monday in search of their first English Premier League win since Oct. 6.

West Ham lost 2-0 to Wolves on Wednesday, and the Hammers have won just one of their last nine matches since October. The win came at Stamford Bridge in a London Derby against Chelsea, and West Ham have beaten Manchester United at the Olympic Stadium this season. Despite the Hammers' recent struggles, a victory isn't a given for Arsenal on Monday. 

[RELATED: Video shows fans' racist abuse in Manchester Derby]

Here's how to watch the West Ham-Arsenal match live online and on TV. 

When: Monday Dec. 9 at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT
Online: NBC Sports

Brighton-Wolves live stream: Watch Premier League game online, on TV


Brighton-Wolves live stream: Watch Premier League game online, on TV

Wolverhampton Wanderers have a window of opportunity to make the Champions League.

Thanks to Chelsea's loss away to Everton on Saturday, Wolves can cut the gap to fourth place down to just three points. While they won't play the Blues until May, a three-point gap with 22 games remaining is plenty manageable for Nuno Espírito Santo's side.

But first, Wolverhampton need to beat Brighton on Sunday. The Seagulls just beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates midweek, and results breaking Brighton's way could facilitate a move up into the top half of the English Premier League table. 

[RELATED: Video shows fans' racist abuse late in Manchester Derby]

Here's how to watch Sunday's Brighton-Wolves match online and on TV. 

When: Sunday Dec. 7 at 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT
Online: NBC Sports