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Women's World Cup

'Hegerberg shouldn't carry responsibility alone' - Marta urges collective fight for equality

15:32 IST 30/05/2019
Hegerberg-cropped
The Ballon d'Or winner has not featured for her country since 2017 due to the poor state of women's football in Norway

Ada Hegerberg cannot change the world alone insists Marta, who called on female footballers to come together in the fight for equality as the Norway and Lyon star sits out the Women's World Cup.

Hegerberg - winner of the first women's Ballon d'Or - will be a notable absentee when the World Cup gets underway in France next month after being left out of the Norway squad.

The 23-year-old forward has not played for her country since the 2017 European Championship due to her frustrations with the state of the women's game in Norway.

Brazil sensation Marta, who is regarded as the greatest female footballer of all time, is a UN women goodwill ambassador for women and girls in sport, and the six-time FIFA World Player of the Year says Hegerberg should not be carrying the responsibility by herself.

"This was the way she found to protest but in my opinion this must be made collectively," Orlando Pride attacker Marta, who holds the record for most World Cup goals with 15, told Omnisport.

"If I'm alone I can't change the world, I need all of you, mainly my fellow players so that things can evolve. 

"When I talk about gender equality, I think that all women that can talk about it, they are allowed to talk also. What I mean is that Ada is paying a price of not playing for her country but this fight of hers is a fight of all of us. 

"She doesn't have to carry this responsibility alone. It was a very strong attitude. For me to do this, I'd need to have my fellow players support as it has already happened here in the U.S., with female athletes together to fight for things to get better in many ways. That's it."

Norway will come up against World Cup hosts France, South Korea and Nigeria in Group A, with the tournament set to get begin on June 7.

Marta's Brazil, meanwhile, will meet highly fancied Australia, Italy and Jamaica in Group C.