Argentine soccer equality fight makes English appreciative

AP
Published 2:31 a.m. ET June 14, 2019

LE HAVRE, France (AP) — It wasn’t until the messages began flooding in from home that Argentina midfielder Ruth Bravo truly grasped the scale of the team’s achievement at the Women’s World Cup.

Argentina, outscored 33-2 in six previous World Cup losses, scored its first point in tournament history when it played to a landmark draw against Japan in its opener.

It was, Bravo said, a “point of gold” for a team that didn’t even qualify for the previous two World Cups.

“We are making history for our country,” Bravo said.

Next up is Friday’s second Group D game against England, with Argentina aiming for so much more. The team has been forced to fight with its own federation to earn the conditions enjoyed by the popular and successful Argentina men’s national team.

“This is really is the first step,” Bravo said. “Argentina has a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

Even making the field was in doubt just two years ago when the players went on strike over unpaid stipends, a lack of uniforms and inadequate training conditions.

Intense lobbying forced the Argentine soccer association to recognize the need to professionalize…

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