Salah latest as Saudi transfer window closes

2023-09-07 06:36:47  • 4 mins

Posted at 6:326:32

Simon Stone

BBC Sport in Berlin

Oscar-winning actress and footballing pioneer Natalie Portman says she longs for the day when female players can concentrate solely on the game.

The 17 days since Spain won the World Cup have been dominated by the controversy over Luis Rubiales post-match reaction, with many observers struggling to understand how the FA president is still in post.

For Portman, there are echoes of the battle the USA players had around equal pay when they won the previous tournament in 2019.

Speaking to delegates at the European Clubs Association General Assembly in Berlin, Portman said: I wish the players could just focus on the sport. Unfortunately they have had to be political inherently, as we have seen at the last two World Cups.

The winners previous to this one, the US, were fighting for equal pay at the same time as they were winning the World Cup. This time the Spanish team was fighting against harassment, abuse and assault.

The resilience of these women to play at the top level whilst being under such unfair and unjust conditions and the ability to be advocates on and off the field is inspiring.

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