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Blame FIFA for USA's rout of Thailand



<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It's not the fault of & nbsp; Alex Morgan, scorer of five goals that Thailand was plainly unprepared to face the United States women's national team in their Women's World Cup opener on Tuesday. " data-response time = "15"> It's not the fault of Alex Morgan, score of five goals, that Thailand was plainly unprepared to face the United States women's national team in their Women's World Cup opener on Tuesday.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1

.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It's not the fault of & nbsp; Rose Lavelle, scorer of two goals that lost Thailand 11 or 12 games heading to this tournament, including to five opponents who didn't even qualify for this World Cup. " data-response time = "16"> It is not the fault of Rose Lavelle, scorer of two goals that Thailand had lost 11 of 12 games heading into this tournament, including to five opponents who didn't even qualify for this World Cup.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It's not the fault of & nbsp; Samantha Mewis, scorer of two goals that Thai goalkeeper Sukanya Chor-Charoenying had no business at all in a tournament of this caliber, much like the defense in front of her. " data-response time = "17"> It's not the fault of Samantha Mewis, scorer of two goals, that Thai goalkeeper Sukanya Chor-Charoenying had quite obviously no business in a tournament of this caliber, much like the defense in front of her. 19659002] It's not the fault of Carli Lloyd, Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe or Mallory Pugh – all of whom scored a goal apiece as well – that their opponents had only existed as a program for 20 years, and that it was appearing in only its fourth World Cup game, suffering its third loss and third shutout.

It's not the US national team's fault that it crushed Thailand 13-0

It’s not U.S. Soccer's fault that it plainly invests a great deal more in its women's program than its Thai counterpart does. It might, for that part, not even be the Football Association of Thailand's fault. After all, its women's team is ranked 34th in the world by FIFA, whereas the men are 114th. And that really isn't such a bad performance, considering Thailand's per capita GDP is a more $ 7,600, a fraction of that of the most wealthy countries in this tournament.

It's, more plausibly, FIFA's fault. [19659006] Thailand players react at the end of their 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup loss to the United States. (Getty) ” class=”JsEnabled_Op(0) JsEnabled_Bg(n) Trsdu(.42s) Bgr(nr) Bgz(cv) StretchedBox W(100%) H(100%) ie-7_H(a)” itemprop=”url” style=”background-image:url(https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/X0vq5CyIOS2xQVCGPx730A–~A/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/https://media-mbst-pub-ue1.s3.amazonaws.com/creatr-images/2019-06/3605a270-8cbc-11e9-9f53-d45f0b65085b);” src=”https://s.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gif” data-reactid=”26″/>

Thailand players react at the end of their 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup loss to the United States. (Getty)

If somebody must be blamed for what was, to many, a kind of sporting debacle – which neglected to recognize the investment and dedication it took over the course of decades to push the U.S. women's program to the point where they could dominate anybody like this, is just as much worthy of praise and admiration – it's probably the sport's global governing body.

Before he was finally pushed out, long-time FIFA president Sepp Blatter looked to Pat himself on the back for making the Women's World Cup happen and growing it into an ever-larger event. And FIFA continues to hit its own on the emergence of the women's spell and occasionally makes grandiose gestures, just doubling the prize money for the Women's World Cup from 2015 to 2019, never mind that $ 30 million, it's still a pittance compared to the men's $ 791 million pot in 2018.

FIFA gets it all wrong

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm "type =" text "content =" It doesn't really matter as much credit for the Women's World Cup as it's due to criticism for not doing more for the women's game. Sooner . " data response = "45"> It's not nearly as much credit for the Women's World Cup as it's due to criticism for not doing more for the women's game. And for not doing so sooner .

In its latest financial disclosures, FIFA showed some $ 2.7 billion in cash reserves. There is no convincing or compelling logic for FIFA to be sitting on that much money. It is really a government institution that isn't the government to have a bank statement, although that's a separate matter. But it's an especially bad state of affairs when women's soccer is as badly underfunded as it is in so many places.

There are a lot of domestic federations that provide women's soccer short shrift. Almost all of them do, in some form. Even the American women, the foremost team in the world and vastly superior to the U.S. but, within the context of their respective games, are still fighting for equal pay.

Samantha Mewis # 3 of USA celebrates her goal with Megan Rapinoe # 15 during the Americans' win over Thailand at the World Cup. (Getty)

FIFA has the power to change that. FIFA has the money to change that.

It can compile its member nations to take the women's programs as seriously as the men's. It can make up for the lack of funding. It can do any number of things.

Instead, FIFA just talks a big game about growing the sport and investing in the grassroots. And FIFA likes to expand these showpiece tournaments. It argues, not unreasonably, that having more teams will make the newcomers better, expand the sport to new places, give more teams a chance. Let's be honest: more teams also give FIFA more games to sell sponsorship and broadcast rights against. But its argument remains true in a sporting sense.

But being at the World Cup only benefits Thailand if it has the resources to take lessons from humiliations like Tuesday's and act on them. If you can add this experience to growth, to best practices at the youth development level and to institutional know-how for competing at these tournaments, this might turn out to be a turning point.

Yet the small Thai federation won't have the means to do that. And FIFA has no history of providing the necessary assets to developing women's programs that they need badly. It would rather be on its money and focus on the men's game. It would rather expand the World Cup, making room for countries like Thailand, and then hang them out to dry, taking lopsided losses.

And the U.S.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " Leander Schaerlaeckens is a Yahoo sports soccer columnist and a sports communication lecturer at Marist College. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet. " data-response = "78"> Leander Schaerlaeckens is a Yahoo Sports soccer columnist and a sports communication lecturer at Marist College. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " More from Yahoo Sports: "data-response =" 79 "> More from Yahoo Sports:


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