Although many footballing icons are unable to play this summer due to injury, including Lionesses Leah Williamson and Beth Mead, there has been an uproar towards certain individuals not making the cut.
Before we dive into who has arguably been robbed of a place to play in the greatest football competition, let’s take a look below at a ‘She’s a baller’ Instagram post that highlights the prominence of injuries in the women’s game, as well as fighting against certain federation’s:
Here’s just a few spotlighted names that won’t appear in this summer’s tournament:
Three-time FIFA Women’s World Cup striker Mana Iwabuchi misses out on her fourth World Cup appearance, as the Japan Football Association announced its 23 for Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday. Despite being a part of Nadeshiko Japan’s 2011 World-Cup winning side in Germany, at just 16 years old, the 30 year old can do no more but watch on the sidelines.
A move from Arsenal on loan to North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur was a hopeful opportunity for Iwabuchi to gain more minutes and prove her worth ahead of July, however with just 10 appearances and no goals for Spurs, she didn’t have enough evidence to prove herself worthy of a squad position.
Iwabuchi’s sportsmanship was seen through her recent tweet:
“Please support Nadeshiko Japan”.
Maya Le Tissier
The 21 year old misses out on a place in Sarina Wiegman’s squad, despite her standout performance in the Women’s Super League for Manchester United. Le Tissier joined United from Brighton last summer, and has since helped the club to finish above Arsenal in second place.
The England boss had noticed the defender's brilliance, in which she was rewarded with her first senior call up last November. Wiegman has spoken out about her decision, explaining how it was “a hard call”, and that is why Maya Le Tissier will join the group in travelling to Australia for the final preparation phase of the tournament.
At such a young age, the United centre-back has a bright future ahead of her, which with no doubt will be filled with major tournaments.
Although an unlikely selection, as Houghton hasn’t played under Wiegman, the former England captain was the name on many minds ahead of the squad announcement. Moreover, the absence of Leah Williamson, due to an ACL injury, validated this debate.
As someone who is comfortable with major tournaments and leading a team, this could’ve been the chance for Steph Houghton to receive her well-deserved return to the Lionesses. The decision to not include the 35 year old, is a harsh one, as it has cemented Houghton as a legend in the squad, rather than a current player.
Despite some popular names not making the final squad list, this may not be the last chance for some.