LYON, France (AP) — The Latest on the Women’s World Cup final (all times local):
French President Emmanuel Macron hopes women’s soccer players are eventually paid the same as men.
Speaking on France Info radio before the Women’s World Cup final in Lyon, Macron said “we need to go progressively toward that.”
On Friday FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced he’ll seek to double the prize money for women at their next World Cup in 2023. But even doubling the pool from $30 million to $60 million doesn’t diminish the gap with the men’s World Cup prize money, which is set at $440 million for the 2022 World Cup, up from $400 million last year.
Macron, who supports Marseille —the only French team to have won the European Cup — said interest in women’s sports will be boosted significantly after this tournament.
Macron said “we have the World Cup effect” and added “things will never be the same” for women’s soccer in France.
On a sunny day at Stade de Lyon, the Dutch fans are making the stadium even brighter with their orange jerseys.
The Oranje have packed themselves behind one of the goals and several are waving the horizontally striped red-white-blue national flag.
The Dutch players went over to applaud them as they ran out onto the sunbaked field.
Megan Rapinoe returned to the starting lineup for the United States in the Women’s World Cup final against the Netherlands on Sunday.
Rapinoe missed the 2-1 semifinal victory over England on Tuesday with a minor hamstring injury. She had two goals in each of the previous two games of the knockout stage.
There were concerns that midfielder Rose Lavelle would also be sidelined with a hamstring injury, but she started.
Alyssa Naeher started at goalkeeper for the seventh straight game, and the backline of Crystal Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper and Kelley O’Hara remained unchanged from the semifinal.
Accompanying Lavelle in the midfield was Julie Ertz and Sam Mewis. Alex Morgan was up top flanked by Tobin Heath and Rapinoe.
Lieke Martens kept her place in the Netherlands starting lineup despite a recent foot injury.
The left winger struggled during the semifinal win against Sweden, going off at halftime. She has been carrying the injury since scoring a 90th-minute penalty in the 2-1 last-16 win against Japan, when a teammate stood on her foot during the celebrations. In the only change to the Dutch team which beat Sweden 1-0 in the semis, Anouk Dekker replaces Merel van Dongen on defense.
Sari van Veenendaal, Desiree van Lunteren, Stefanie van der Gragt, Dominique Bloodworth, Anouk Dekker, Jackie Groenen, Danielle van de Donk, Sherida Spitse, Lineth Beerensteyn, Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens.
The United States will be vying for its fourth Women’s World Cup title when it meets European champion the Netherlands on Sunday.
The U.S. is the defending champion, while the Dutch women are appearing in their first World Cup final.
Both sides had narrow wins in the semifinals, with the U.S. beating a physical England team 2-1 and the Dutch needing extra time to overcome Sweden 1-0.
The finalists both have female coaches. Jill Ellis leads the United States and Sarina Wiegman is in charge of the Netherlands.
It’s the first time since 2003 that two women have coached against each other in the final.
In the most recent meeting between the two teams, the U.S. won 3-1 at home in 2016.