Women’s World Cup: Ex-England captain Faye White talks smaller goals, VAR and the USA celebrations against T

Former England captain Faye White has spoken out about some of the contentious issues which have emerged from the Women’s World Cup.

The tournament in France has provoked widespread debate around several topics, including VAR, the size of the goals in women’s football and, bizarrely, whether you should celebrate at 13-0.

Faye White spoke exclusively to talkSPORT

William Hill

Faye White spoke exclusively to talkSPORT

White, the Arsenal Ladies icon, sat down with talkSPORT.com to talk through some of the issues.

Smaller goals

Before the tournament began, Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes ignited a debate about whether women should play with smaller goals than men.

She said: “If the same male player and female player were to be in standing positions and both jump, the range for a male is going to be greater than that of a woman. So you think where’s its relevance?

“Well, first it would be in goalkeeping for example. There is often a criticism about goalkeeping in the women’s game, I would argue that the goal is just a little bit too big.

Emma Hayes has argued for smaller goals in the women’s game

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Emma Hayes has argued for smaller goals in the women’s game

“If it was built around our physical differences then we would be talking about great goalkeepers as opposed to exposing them.”

Since then, several players have come out in opposition to Hayes’ suggestion, including legendary USA goalkeeper Hope Solo.

And White also disagrees. Speaking at a William Hill World Cup event, she told talkSPORT.com: “The standards are improving. Goalkeeping was always that area where people would criticise women’s football.

“We saw [England goalkeeper] Karren Bardsley stop one that was going right in the top corner against Japan. If we’re making the goal smaller because some women are 5ft 2ins, then they shouldn’t be a keeper.

“There are women out there who are over 5ft 10ins.  You can’t change the goal for that. Not all men are over 6ft 5ins, are they?

“If you look further ahead, how is it going to make our game more accessible for girls to play? The pitch will still be the same size.

“For me, I don’t see how that would make the game more accessible and practical to get more people involved. It’s not just about the spectacle at professional level.”

VAR

Scotland were left seething after VAR helped to send them home from the tournament in France.

With the Scots beating Argentina 3-2 and heading into the knockout stages, goalkeeper Lee Alexander was penalised for stepping a foot off her goal line in saving a late penalty, causing the spot-kick to be re-taken and subsequently scored.

Nigeria also suffered in a match against hosts France.

Scotland were left shell shocked by their World Cup elimination, which occurred in controversial circumstances

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Scotland were left shell shocked by their World Cup elimination, which occurred in controversial circumstances

And White suggests that VAR has become too meticulous.

She added: “It’s really harsh. All the way through their [Scotland’s] three games, they were on the wrong end of VAR.

“I know the laws are the laws, but you think about the law with the keeper having to keep their foot on the line, how does that give you an advantage? It was tiny margins. “If they can’t react until after the ball is kicked, how are they going to save it?

“In the France game, Wendie Renard missed a penalty, the keeper was deemed to be off her line, but some of the French players were in the box before it was taken.

“So where do you draw the line?”

Penalties have been retaken at the Women’s World Cup after VAR reviews

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Penalties have been retaken at the Women’s World Cup after VAR reviews

USA celebrations against Thailand

Earlier in the tournament, the United States demolished Thailand 13-0 to record the biggest ever victory in the history of the Women’s World Cup.

However, they have been criticised in some quarters for over celebrating as the scoreline increased, with Megan Rapinoe launching herself into a sliding celebration after scoring the ninth goal.

White, on the other hand, would be more concerned if they didn’t celebrate.

Will Gavin defends US Women team for celebrating goals in World Cup game against Thailand

She said: “I don’t think they did [over-celebrate].

“I was watching that game, when you’re playing in a World Cup, you’re going to celebrate scoring goals, whoever you’re against.

“Until you’ve played in one and you know how hard you work to get there, then it’s almost disrespectful to Thailand if they said, ‘You’re so rubbish, we won’t celebrate anymore’.”