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SportIs a FIFA ruling giving France an advantage over the USWNT?

18:31  27 june  2019
18:31  27 june  2019 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

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SportsPulse: The USWNT coasted through the group stage but the knockout stage is a whole different beast. But give everyone fair warning you’ll now be doing so, and But the rules association announced Friday afternoon that it was granting FIFA a “dispensation” for the rest of the tournament.

The USWNT throttled Thailand 13-0 on Tuesday at the Women's World Cup. - Goals are not to be acknowledged once there is an eight-goal advantage or sooner if the margin has reached While FIFA cannot dictate what other organizations do, it is recommended similar guidelines be adopted for

Is a FIFA ruling giving France an advantage over the USWNT?© Provided by Oath Inc. Amandine Henry (6) and France are training at Clairefontaine this week. Is that an unfair advantage over the USWNT? It remains to be seen. (Getty)

PARIS ⁠— In a clearing of the thick Rambouillet forest some 30 miles southwest of Paris sits Clairefontaine, the legendary training grounds of the French Football Federation.

It is home to seemingly endless, perfectly manicured practices pitches (including some indoors), not to mention medical and fitness buildings, locker rooms, state of the art coaching technology, plush dormitories, cafeterias and anything else a soccer team trying to win a World Cup could dream up.

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Megan Rapinoe's two penalty kicks sent the USWNT into the World Cup quarterfinals. “This tournament isn’t supposed to be easy and Spain was a great team,” midfielder Samantha Mewis said. “I think these are the kinds of things that let us know that we’re strong and that we can grind through

SportsPulse: The USWNT coasted through the group stage but the knockout stage is a whole different beast. Win or go home. First up: Spain. Spain finished second in Group B with a 1-1-1 record, scoring three goals and giving up two. The winner will play June 28 against host France in the quarterfinals.

The weather is cooler. The isolation invites focus.

It is a best-in-world facility.

“The training ground it is beautiful, I’ve played there before,” said American forward Tobin Heath, who has competed as a professional in France. “I think it is magnificent for a country to have the resources that they do in order to have such a beautiful training ground that has such a rich history.”

It is the pride and joy of French soccer, perhaps a reason they are the reigning men’s world cup champions.

And for much of this tournament, including this week in preparation for a massive Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match-up Friday (3 p.m. ET) between France and the United States, Clairefontaine has also served as a central training ground and base camp for France’s women’s team.

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France is vying to become the first nation to simultaneously hold both the men’s and women’s World WATCH: Megan Rapinoe scores on penalty kick for USWNT vs. Spain at FIFA Women’s World Cup. Captain Megan Rapinoe gave the United States an early lead over Spain after scoring on a penalty

That 's because Golden Boot co-leader Sam Kerr and Australia were eliminated by Norway on Saturday. Morgan has five goals and scored all of them in one game -- the USWNT 's Renard takes advantage of the second chance penalty and gives France the late lead! #FIFAWWC pic.twitter.com/sdys2TRqso.

It makes sense. Why wouldn’t you train there?

Except Clairefontaine is exactly the kind of place that FIFA tried to eliminate from this Women’s World Cup.

Due to the vast disparity in funding between top teams and developing teams, FIFA banned countries from establishing base camps during the tournament – a common practice during the men’s World Cup.

Essentially, it stopped wealthy countries such as the United States or Germany from renting out a modern, opulent facility of a French professional team to set up shop for six weeks, because doing so was deemed an unfair advantage over less-wealthy (or committed) federations such Thailand, who might be stuck just renting a municipal park or some other inferior grounds.

It was a reasonable attempt to take money (at least a little bit) out of the competition.

Yet in a pre-tournament ruling, FIFA allowed the French to use their national training grounds for the duration of the Women’s World Cup. Part of the argument is that this is what they own, not what they are renting out. Essentially, it’s a host nation benefit. It certainly gives them the exact type of consistent camp that everyone else was barred from seizing.

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FRANCE – The United States Women’s National team needed two penalty kicks to edge Spain in Spain were able to press the USWNT with success and knock Jill Ellis’ side out of their comfort Neither team could take advantage of their chances in the remainder of the first half and went to the

That ’s how good the USWNT is. They’re just way more talented than everyone else. It was an arrogant decision to rest one of the world’s best players in a knockout stage match because she was facing a potential yellow card suspension, and an inexplicable to later throw her into a situation where

Is this a big deal? It’s hard to say.

The Americans have lobbied no known complaints are trying to remain focused on preparing for Friday’s game. If they think it matters, they either aren’t acknowledging it or at least don’t want the French to know they feel that way.

However, a French assistant coach meanwhile has deemed it, “an advantage” in part because of temperatures have soared into the mid-90s all week.

"Yes it's an advantage over a team in the center of Paris, especially with the weather," Philippe Joly, an assistant coach on the team, told reporters this week. "We have Clairefontaine over five days to prepare for this match ... It's an advantage, because we are at home, it's our home. We have our benchmarks, we have all the tools to recover.”

Is a FIFA ruling giving France an advantage over the USWNT?© Provided by Oath Inc. Jill Ellis and the United States have no complains so far about their training ground ahead of Friday's quarterfinal vs. France. (Getty)

And the French media are discussing it. Tobin Heath was even asked about it at a press availability on Wednesday – she didn’t really understand the question and essentially had no comment.

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If it feels that way during the Women’s World Cup, it’s only because FIFA , through the kind of The new rule applied to goalkeepers during penalty kicks, and the exacerbating decision to make it subject to VAR review, is , as we’ve said, very bad. The USWNT - France Clash Is The Real World Cup Final.

For decades, the USWNT has been topping podiums, making waves and racking Take a closer look at the impressive statistics across the 33-year journey that lead to this moment—an achievement that further cements the WNT as one of the most dominant squads in the history of sport, men or women.

In a game that is expected to be as close as the U.S. vs. France (these are the two favorites to win the tournament), isn’t any “advantage” a big advantage?

Maybe. The Americans have had to take their camps on the road, training for a few days in whatever city their next game was scheduled to take place.

All that moving presents logistical challenges, for sure. A central base would be preferable, especially since the Americans’ first five games have all been either in Paris or within a two-and-a-half-hour drive of it.

However, the U.S. is very well-funded and very well-organized, especially by women’s soccer standards. They note they have everything they need. This week they have been staying at a four-star hotel and spa on the outskirts of Paris and training at quite suitable facilities nearby.

The disparity can’t be that great. Can it?

That remains to be seen – if it’s even possible to quantify. What’s clear though is even if the Americans are saying nothing, the French are quite pleased that FIFA granted them the opportunity, and perhaps the sliver of an advantage, to use their hallowed and preferred grounds in the long, grueling tournament.

“We take Clairefontaine willingly,” Philippe Joly said.

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