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FIFA Women's World Cup: US celebrates 'historic' win, Trump 'proud' even after row with captain

Jul 08, 2019

US President Donald Trump praised the women's national soccer team in the wake of their World Cup triumph on Sunday and said he would look into inviting them to the White House, just days after a spat with the captain.

"Congratulations to the U.S. Women's Soccer Team on winning the World Cup! Great and exciting play. America is proud of you all!" tweeted Trump.

 The US President, who had exchanged barbs with the player of the tournament Megan Rapinoe during the finals in France, also told reporters in New Jersey that the women's soccer team winning the world cup was "an incredible achievement".

 After Rapinoe, who led her side to victory on Sunday, told a reporter last month she would not go to the White House if the team was invited, Trump fired off a series of tweets saying: "Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!..." 

 "Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!"

 He went on to promise a White House invitation to the team "win or lose."

 However, when asked by reporters on Sunday if Trump would invite the team to the White House, he said, "We haven't really thought about it. We will look at that." 

 English-born US national team coach Jill Ellis said she would not bet on an invite.

 Trump also waded into the female athlete pay debate, saying that he "would like to see" women paid as much as their male counterparts, but noted that further study was needed. 

 Rapinoe on Saturday took aim at world soccer's governing body FIFA over a sizeable gap in the prize money offered to women's World cup champions compared to male winners.

 Former US Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also tweeted their congratulations, along with numerous other politicians, athletes, and celebrities. The mayor of New York even announced a ticker tape parade for the football champions.

 "It is a great honor to have them capture it for the United States." In a statement, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said "the confidence, grit, and perseverance of the US women's national soccer team (serves) as an inspiration to all who watch them," and that they'd be welcomed to the city with a parade on Wednesday.

 The US women "never fail to make our country proud -- on and off the field," Joe Biden, the former Democratic vice president who leads Trump, a Republican, in polls ahead of next year's presidential election, wrote on Twitter.

 In Chicago, nearly 9,000 people wearing the red, white and blue of the American flag gathered to watch the final on a large screen, jumping and cheering with each goal scored.

 The United States duly claimed their fourth World Cup title with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in Lyon, France, with a goal from a penalty by Megan Rapinoe and a strike by Rose Lavelle.

 US media pointed to the historic nature of the team's win, which put the American women among the great teams in global football.

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