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Rapinoe slams ‘unknown’ Castellanos’s inclusion on FIFA award list

London (AFP) – Football’s global governing body was accused of “not caring” about the women’s game by World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe after including a previously little-known Venezuelan striker on its female player of the year shortlist.

The 18-year-old Deyna Castellanos, who does not play in a professional league, found herself in the running for the 2017 Best FIFA women’s player of the year award at the London Palladium on Monday alongside the likes of established internationals Carli Lloyd of the United States and the Netherlands’ European Championship-winning forward Lieke Martens.  

A potentially embarrassing situation for FIFA was averted when Martens took the award, with Dutch boss Sarina Wiegman named Women’s Coach of the Year in further recognition of tournament hosts the Netherlands’ achievement in winning their first major female football title at the 2017 Women’s Euros.

Castellanos was also nominated for the goal of the year award for a stunning strike from almost on the halfway line for Venezuela against Cameroon at the 2016 Under-17 Women’s World Cup.

That award, however, went to Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud for the France striker’s ‘scorpion-kick’ strike against Crystal Palace in the English Premier League in January. 

Shortly before the winners were announced, Rapinoe told the BBC: “The (women’s) award just doesn’t hold a lot of weight when you’ve got someone on the list I’ve never heard of.”

The 32-year-old Rapinoe, who has won 127 caps and helped the USA win both 2012 Olympic gold and the 2015 World Cup, indicated Castellanos’s inclusion on the women’s shortlist was patronising on the part of officials.

“It signals to us and it signals to the rest of the world that FIFA doesn’t really care,” she said. 

However, FIFA insisted that Castellanos’s name had emerged legitimately from a ballot where, in common with the majority of Monday’s awards, votes were split evenly between national team coaches, national team captains, members of the media and fans.

“The process is clear and transparent and we are not involved in the final selection of nominees,” FIFA said in a statement. 

“However, we have taken note of the concerns raised by the football community and our fans and will take this feedback on board in future editions of The Best Awards.”

FIFA chiefs risked further flak from within the women’s game over the scheduling of Monday’s ceremony after both Martens and Wiegman were unable to receive their awards in person because of the Netherlands’ World Cup qualifier at home to Norway on Tuesday.

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  1. Vicbklyn

    October 24, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Forget about Rapinoe! They received more than 1 complaint. This was embarrassing on FIFA’S part. You don’t need a qualifying list for tge voter’s to make a better decision. They needed 10 minutes on the internet or to call a couple of colleagues. Even easier use social media.
    Top 3 players in the world. At U17 world Cup, you are not playing the best players. You are not even playing tge best plsyers in your own country. Their are 17 y.o. playing with their respective full national teams around the world and being successful at it. This player is not even playing professionally against the best players. I do believe a 17 y.o. can be the best if they show it at the Olympics or a full World Cup.

    • Oliver Tse

      October 24, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Lieke Martens was going to win the award going away. 2017 is her year. She now plays for FC Barcelona, which recruited her because Barcelona knows that Martens fits the Barcelona system.

      One can argue that Sam Kerr should have been shortlisted instead of Carli Lloyd, who got in due to past reputation.

      Deyna Castellanos scored a string of GOLAZOs during a FIFA tournament. So what if she was U-17? The voters generally watch FIFA tournaments and Euro leagues, not NWSL (which is rapidly falling behind the Euro Leagues and will fall behind Liga MX Feminil within the next 10 years.)

      The problem: Rapinoe had a blind spot, and the BBC knew it so the BBC set up a trap for Rapinoe, who obliged by stepping right into the trap.

      With that said, Rapinoe did not disappoint. 3 days after her audition with FOX Sports, she put her foot in her mouth and polarized social media. Thats what pundits are supposed to do for a living.

  2. Oliver Tse

    October 24, 2017 at 4:08 am

    The original BBC article which quoted Megan Rapinoe:

    Rapinoe is now the “Alexi Lalas” of the USWNT. She will stir the pot.

    She basically took over that role from Hope Solo, whose name is now 100% toxic.

    • Oliver Tse

      October 24, 2017 at 4:12 am

      The trolls on Twitter are going after Megan Rapinoe for being ignorant.

      • zzzsssvvv

        October 25, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        What’s worse a troll or someone who lives a fantasy life and pretends he’s involved in the soccer broadcasting world??? What’s your twitter handle so I can read it and laugh from time to time? A search of your name just found people in the poker industry making fun of you.

  3. tim tebows jock strap

    October 23, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    rapinoe cares about rapinoe, she is probably pissed lloyd was on there and not her.

    the best part will be her response to people being upset she will insist they are against her fight against oppression and that they are racist/sexist/homophobic for questioning her.

    • Oliver Tse

      October 24, 2017 at 12:32 am

      I had written in the past that Megan Rapinoe will ultimately become a TV studio pundit after she hangs up her boots after the 2020 Olympics.

      FOX Sports Executive Producer of World Cup Programming David Neal, who listens to what I have to say carefully (regardless of whether he agrees with me or not), apparently agreed with me (just as he did 18 years ago when he hired Amy Allmann Griffin and paired her to work with Andres Cantor at the 2000 Sydney Olympics for NBC, just has he did 4 months ago by flying Jermaine Jones to Estadio Azteca in Mexico City for an audition during MEX-USMNT WCQ on FS1,, and just he has done recently by replacing Cobi Jones with Mariano Trujillo as the analyst for the #3 team at World Cup 2018 for FOX.)

      Guess whom David Neal auditioned as a guest studio pundit after the USWNT-KOR friendly on FS1 in New Orleans?

      • MAHLUF

        October 25, 2017 at 8:46 am

        You know how dumb you sound when you say things like this, right?

        “FOX Sports Executive Producer of World Cup Programming David Neal, who listens to what I have to say carefully”

      • zzzsssvvv

        October 25, 2017 at 1:18 pm

        HAHAHHAHA you deluded clown, yes I’m sure executive at all networks are reading the comment sections of this site to see what you have to say.

    • Jon

      October 24, 2017 at 12:41 am

      Yep, it’s all about her. Can’t stand Rapinoe.

  4. Oliver Tse

    October 23, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    BBC laid the “ignorant American” trap for Megan Rapinoe and she walked right into it.

    Castellanos had a string of GOLAZOs during the FIFA Women’s U-17s in late 2016. Check out 1st video on the following page.

    • Vicbklyn

      October 23, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      Really?U17 & you think that would qualify her for the best female player?

      • Rapinoe complains about everything

        October 23, 2017 at 10:58 pm

        why not?

        there is a panel that votes, coaches, players…and not male players lol. they voted and they voted her on their.

        if you want to eliminate people because of their age/pro-am status then make that rule.

        otherwise…suck it up buttercup.

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