11 November 2020

Former Man United keeper Siobhan Chamberlain says Rapinoe outburst was ‘harsh’

US Soccer captain Megan Rapinoe’s comment that it’s ‘disgraceful’ Manchester United took so long to have a women’s team has been deemed ‘harsh’ by the club’s former keeper Siobhan Chamberlain.

Chamberlain, who retired earlier this year, helped United win promotion into the Women’s Super League in 2018 and has said the women’s side is fully integrated at the club.

She told BBC’s Football Daily: "I think disgraceful is a little bit harsh but when I signed for the club one of the first things they said to me as I was there signing was ‘I bet you want to know what took us so long’. And I think everyone always has that discussion, why hasn’t Manchester United had a women’s team?

"But United came in at a time that was right for them and they’ve done things properly which is why three seasons in they’re sitting at the top of the FAWSL, yes they might not stay there, but they’re doing things right on the pitch and off the pitch.

“It’s a fantastic set up the women’s team is integrated fully within the club and they’re not just kind of there because they thought it was the right thing to do, like some clubs just have token gesture women’s teams attached to them. Manchester United has set it up completely rightly.”

Rapinoe questioned why it took Man United so long to get a women’s team

(SIPA USA/PA Images)

And Everton’s Izzy Christiansen agreed with Chamberlain.

She said: "In terms of in the fight for equality I think sometimes might get a little bit lost in terms of what’s real as well… I think in terms of doing it properly they clearly have because they’ve got a very competitive team in the WSL now.

"Obviously they might have their reasons for not forming a women’s team sooner and I think they were under a lot of pressure to perhaps do that but I respect the fact that they have done it at a time when they have been ready to do it properly.

“I think in the long run that actually has more respect for the female team than perhaps doing it incorrectly and then stumbling at a later date.”

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