Euro 2022 winner Jill Scott has expressed her “disappointment” that the World Cup kissing saga has distracted from Spain's women's team's victory.
said the former England midfielder The independent that issues within Spanish football have “overshadowed” the team's “great football”.
Her comments come after Royal Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales has come under fire for kissing player Jenny Hermozo on the lips after Spain secured a 1-0 win over England last month.
Rubiales, who was also fined for grabbing his crotch after winning the women's world title for the first time in Spain's history, refused to resign over his behavior but was banned by FIFA.
It comes as Jorge Wilda, head coach of Spain's women's team, was sacked on Tuesday after being among those who praised Rubiales' refusal to quit.
Scott said she felt “disappointed” that the kiss was “the main talking point” instead of Spain winning the World Cup.
“I know there were girls who decided not to go to the World Cup because they weren't happy with the way things were going. And that for me is very sad to hear because it is a dream to play in a World Cup.
“I've been so lucky to do it four times, and it's something you dream of as a young girl and to think it's been taken away from them. First and foremost, this is sad.”
Talking to you The independent in a wide-ranging interview, Lioness also spoke about the bullying she suffered as a young girl playing soccer at school. She said people often thought she was a boy because she played soccer and wondered how girls could play the game.
The 36-year-old said it was “unusual” to see girls playing football back then and said she sometimes suffered worse bullying from parents rather than her classmates.
“Sometimes for parents, if a young girl back then – I'm going back 30 years – hit their son, it was a bit of a shame,” he added.
Scott said she would attend soccer camps where she was the one girl with 50 boys, as well as go to soccer tournaments where she was the only girl.
The former soccer player said even though she was better at soccer than some of the boys, she “never wanted special treatment because she was a girl.”
Scott added: “I just wanted to play football and as a young kid, I didn't understand why it was such a big deal that I just wanted to play football.”
He continued: “Once I crossed that white line, that's where I wanted to be. I could get away with anything.”
Her comments come as new research by Starling Bank found that three in 10 girls stop playing football by the time they reach their late teens – a much higher rate than the one in ten boys who quit the sport.
Researchers, who surveyed 2,000 11- to 16-year-olds in the UK, found that more than a quarter of girls gave up football because of pressure to do well at school. Meanwhile, 14 percent stop playing because of insecurities about their body image and eight percent bow out of football because they were bullied for playing the game.
Scott, who is an ambassador for the bank, said social media pressure is partly to blame as it puts pressure on girls to make them feel they have to look a certain way.
“It's kind of this perfect world, isn't it, in a sense,” he mused. “And I think we're all guilty of doing that. We don't want to post a photo unless you look good or it's filtered.”
Scott explained that she has coached girls between the ages of 13 and 15 in soccer and you can see that they don't want to “get stuck in a tackle” or “sweat it” because of the anxiety about how they will look.