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'You have the power to convince us men' - FIFA president Gianni Infantino makes bizarre speech as he tells women to 'pick the right battles' & 'push doors open' ahead of World Cup final

  • Thrilling tournament in Australia & New Zealand
  • Head of world football attending the event
  • Made strange speech direct at women

WHAT HAPPENED? The head of world football’s governing body has history when it comes to making strange comments on topics that deserve strong and decisive leadership – having done likewise ahead of the men’s World Cup finals that took place in Qatar at the end of 2022. He has now addressed the issue of equality in the women’s game during the tournament in Australia and New Zealand that has captivated a global audience and drawn attention to the causes that matter most.

WHAT THEY SAID: Infantino has, however, tackled the issue from an odd angle, saying during a speech in Sydney: "We have to start treating men and women, or women and men, in the same way. And I say to all the women - and you know I have four daughters, so I have a few at home - I say to all the women, that you have the power to change. Pick the right battles. Pick the right fights. You have the power to change. You have the power to convince us men what we have to do and what we don’t have to do. You do it. Just do it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Infantino went on to say: "With men, with FIFA, you will find open doors. Just push the doors. They are open. And do it also at national level, in every country, at continental level, in every confederation. Just keep pushing, keep the momentum, keep dreaming, and let’s really go for a full equality. Not just equal pay in the World Cup, which is a slogan that comes up every now and then. Equal pay in the World Cup, we are going in that direction already. But that would not solve anything. It might be a symbol but it would not solve anything, because it’s one month every four years and it’s a few players out of the thousands and thousands of players. We need to keep the momentum. We need to push it. We need to go for equality but we have to do it for real. And you, here in this room, all the women in this room, you have the power to do it. So believe in it. Thank you very much."

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WHAT NEXT? Reigning European champions England are set to face Spain in the 2023 Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.