USWNT

Australia, New Zealand to co-host 2023 Women's World Cup

Australia, New Zealand to co-host 2023 Women's World Cup

GENEVA (AP) -- Australia and New Zealand will co-host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The island neighbors beat Colombia 22-13 in a vote Thursday by FIFA's ruling council, which judged them as having the best commercial prospects for women’s soccer.

The vote was split along continental lines, with Europe joining South America in voting for Colombia.

The expanded 32-team tournament -- eight more than the 2019 edition in France -- is expected to open in July 2023.

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The winning bid proposed 12 cities with seven in Australia and five in New Zealand. It includes the main stadium used for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

After a successful World Cup last year, FIFA wants the next women’s tournament to further establish its independence from the men, and show it is commercially attractive.

At least $100 million is expected to be paid by the governing body in 2023 -- for prize money, team preparation costs and to clubs releasing players for the tournament -- FIFA president Gianni Infantino pledged last year in France.

Colombia’s bid was rated a high-risk commercial option in an evaluation of the candidates published this month. Australia and New Zealand's bid was rated low-risk and scored 4.1 points out of a maximum 5. Colombia scored 2.8.

A third candidate, Japan, withdrew on Monday. That gave fellow Asian Football Confederation member Australia a clearer run. New Zealand is part of the smaller Oceania continental group.

The 2023 tournament will be the first time a World Cup for men or women will be shared across two continental bodies, and the first co-hosted women’s edition.

Colombia’s bid was supported by most of the nine voters from European soccer body UEFA.

Launched in 1991, the Women’s World Cup has never been hosted in South America.

Both Australia, the No. 7-ranked team in women’s soccer, and No. 23 New Zealand will qualify automatically for the tournament.

Colombia is currently ranked No. 25 and was the only one of the three bidders not to qualify for the 2019 edition.

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USWNT's Ali Krieger says the Washington Redskins should change its name

USWNT's Ali Krieger says the Washington Redskins should change its name

United States Women's National Team star Ali Krieger believes that the Washington Redskins should change their name. 

On Wednesday, Krieger posted a photo on Twitter calling for the name change. She tagged the team's Twitter account and the NFL's.

"We are not equal until all of our communities are equal. Change the name @Redskins @nfl #TheTimeIsNow #ChangeTheName," the tweet said. 

The photo in the tweet had "Aunt Jemima", "confederate flag" and "confederate monuments" crossed out. The Washington Redskins were listed fourth without a line through it. Below there was text that read, "Change is here. The time is now."

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In the aftermath of protests over George Floyd's death and institutional racism in America, several brands announced similar moves to change their name. "Aunt Jemima" was one of many to make a change and Nestle announced they are changing the name of their candy 'Red Skins'.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has also called for the team to change its name to return its home stadium within the confines of the District. 

Krieger is a native of Dumfries, Va. and has been with the National Team since 2008, winning two World Cups. She played on the NWSL's Washington Spirit for four seasons and now plays for the Orlando Pride.

The Redskins football team has not spoken publicly about the name. In 2013, team owner Dan Snyder told USA TODAY Sports he would never change the name.

MLS reaffirms stance on kneeling during anthem, U.S. Soccer considering amending policy

MLS reaffirms stance on kneeling during anthem, U.S. Soccer considering amending policy

The NFL Isn't the only league in which players may be kneeling during the national anthem as a peaceful protest.

Major League Soccer released a statement on Tuesday saying that the league would continue to support its players' choices, something that they have stood by for years.

“While fostering an environment of diversity, equality and inclusion, Major League Soccer stands by the ideals of freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest that are the hallmarks of the United States and Canada. If players or staff decide to stand, kneel or otherwise exercise their right to peaceful protest during the playing of the National Anthems before league games, we support them," the league said in a statement.

And in the broader soccer world, there may be movement on US Soccer's stance on the issue. According to ESPN's Jeff Carlisle, the United States Soccer Federation board is considering repealing its current policy that all players stand for the national anthem.

The news comes as the United States women's national team released a statement on Monday requesting the "Anthem Policy" implemented by U.S. Soccer be repealed.

"The Federation should immediately repeal the 'Anthem Policy,' publish a statement acknowledging the policy was wrong when it was adopted, and issue an apology to our Black players and supporters. Further, we believe the Federation should lay out its plans on how it will now support the message and movement it tried to silence four years ago," the statement read.

The movement that the USWNT believed was "silenced" years back refers to the "Anthem Policy" that was put in place after Megan Rapinoe kneeled during a 2016 match in support of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. As civil unrest and protests continue to take place across the country following the murder of George Floyd, the debate as to what players should do during the national anthem has been in the spotlight once again.

Notably, the NFL has made waves after commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement Friday encouraging players to speak out in response to a video posted by some of the league's biggest stars.

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The team wants the policy repealed not only because it restricts a form of peaceful protests, but because they believe that until that happens, the message of the act will be twisted and not perceived how it should be. 

"Until USSF does so, the mere existence of the policy will continue to perpetuate the misconceptions and fear that clouded the true meaning of and significance of Colin Kaepernick, Megan Rapinoe and other athletes taking a knee -- that black people in America have not been and continue to not be afforded the same liberties and freedoms as white people and that police brutality and systemic racism exist in this country."