Seattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe is ripping FIFA, after the organization nominated an amateur player for its female Player of the Year award.
During an interview with the BBC, Rapinoe called FIFA “old, male and stale” for nominating Deyna Castellanos for the award. Castellanos is a sophomore at Florida State and a member of the second-division Santa Clarita Heat soccer team, but she isn’t a paid professional.
Rapinoe insisted she had never heard of the 18-year-old Castellanos and said her nomination proves that FIFA doesn’t care about female soccer.
“The award just doesn’t hold a lot of weight when you’ve got someone on the list I’ve never heard of,” Rapinoe said.
“It signals to us, and it signals to the rest of the world that FIFA doesn’t really care,” Rapinoe added in the October 23 interview.
“If some random male player, who was not even a full professional, was nominated, I’m sure they would step in for that, so it’s disappointing that the same hasn’t been done for us,” she concluded.
Australia forward Sam Kerr, who was also “conspicuous” by her absence in the nominations, also criticized FIFA saying, “Not surprised really, it’s Fifa.”
Castellanos is not completely unknown, having played in the World Cup for Venezuela where she blasted an amazing mid-field goal during the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016.
The teenage rising soccer star was nominated along with Barcelona’s Lieke Martens and American player and Olympic gold medalist Carli Lloyd. Martens won the top spot during Monday’s announcement of the winners.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.