United States forward Alex Morgan has defended her tea-drinking celebration in the World Cup semi-final win over England and said there was a “double standard” in the treatment of women players.
A glancing header from the Orlando Pride striker proved decisive in a 2-1 win for the holders, with the Lionesses having a second-half goal disallowed for offside and then also missing a penalty.
Morgan celebrated her goal by sticking out her little finger and pretending to sip tea, which some felt was done to mock England.
When you score the winner on your birthday to send your team to the #FIFAWWC Final 🙌— FIFA Women's World Cup (@FIFAWWC) July 2, 2019
Itâs a day @alexmorgan13 will remember for a long time 🎉@FIFAWWC_USA | #DareToShine
TV listings 👉 https://t.co/t64sDOEs52 pic.twitter.com/WoZAWqrl0E
The 30-year-old, though, insisted it was intended to represent the phrase ‘that’s the tea’ – which is used by English actor Sophie Turner on her Instagram stories and is also a slang word for gossip.
Morgan, who has six goals at the Women’s World Cup so far alongside England’s Ellen White, believes she has been singled out unfairly given what men players do after they score.
“I feel that there is some sort of double standard for females in sports, to feel like we have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate but not too much, do something but it always has to be in a limited fashion,” she said, as reported by BBC Sport.
“You see men celebrating all over the world in big tournaments, grabbing their sacks or whatever it is.
“And when I look at sipping a cup of tea, I am a little taken aback. You have to laugh about it, to see all the criticism.”
Looking to draw a line under the matter, Morgan said: “My celebration was actually more about ‘that’s the tea’ – telling a story, spreading news.
“Sophie Turner does it quite often, she’s one of my favourite actresses. It wasn’t a hit to England in any way.”
Game of Thrones star Turner defended Morgan and offered support to the USA forward on her Instagram story on Friday evening.
The Americans will be aiming to both successfully defend their title and deliver a fourth World Cup triumph when they face Holland in Lyon on Sunday.
The Dutch had to battle through extra-time against Sweden, eventually progressing 1-0 following a goal from new Manchester United recruit Jackie Groenen.
Midfielder Danielle Van De Donk believes Holland can rise to the challenge, as the European champions look to upset the form book.
“I believe the USA have got a bit arrogant in how they’re talking about us in the media recently,” Van De Donk said, as reported by www.FIFA.com.
“They’re basically already congratulating us on finishing in second place. I love it, let them say what they want to say.
“The final is a game like any other: it will start at 0-0 and there are still at least 90 minutes to play.
“We’ll show them on the pitch how much we want to win that World Cup. Let’s talk afterwards.”