LILLE, France (AP) – Defensive midfielder Ali Krieger and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris were on the bench in a 2-0 victory over Sweden on Thursday. No news. The two met in a call for the American team and have been together ever since. A few months before the World Cup in France announced to the general public that the second title together in the World Cup – both were in the US triad in 2015 – is not the only dream they will try to accomplish this year: they are brides and in December, they will officialize your marriage.
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A couple within a selection is a unique situation, Ashlyn acknowledged in a recent interview, while showing immense pride of being able to represent the country together, doing what they love alongside the one they love. More at ease now, they say that the relationship does not disturb work in the field. On the contrary, they do not live the usual longing that the athletes face because they are so many days away from home.
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– It's incredible. We have been in it for so long that we can finally talk about it as if it were a normal thing. It's really comforting. It's a kind of weight off our shoulders, "said defender Ali Krieger, 34, last March.
Krieger and Harris live almost together. They are Marta's teammates at Orlando Pride – a club where the Brazilian striker met her new girlfriend, have made some fashion editorials together and are engaged in the fight for inclusion and tolerance, as well as another Cup couple. Attackers Jodie Taylor of England and Emma Kete of New Zealand were able to enjoy together at least part of the World Cup, each for their country. Summoned, the kiwi striker did not hold the euphoria: "Same dream, different team. I can play the World Cup with my wife. "
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Now, only Taylor is still in contention. Emma lost the opportunity to face her friend in the Octaves, when New Zealand fell to Cameroon 2-1 and bid farewell to the World Cup.
The presence of the two couples, who calmly expose the relationship in social networks, reveals a more tolerant feature of women's football, with greater acceptance of the sexual orientation of the players either by fans, colleagues or clubs. Especially in countries like the United States and some in Europe, where there are more concrete actions against homophobia.
The Orlando Pride Americans raise the flag and wear the colors of the rainbow. June is the month of LGBTI Pride (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex, celebrated on the 28th), and the players are in the campaign of Pride in our city, in support of the victims of the terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub in Florida in 2016.
Survey of LGBTI website Outsports points out that more than 30 Cup players are admittedly gay or bisexual; four years ago, they were 18, including representatives of the technical commission, as the US technique, the English Jill Ellis. The study points out that they may be more, since countries such as Nigeria punish homosexuals. In the Russian Men's Cup, there was no declared gay.
It does not mean that homophobic attacks have ceased. Australia's Sam Kerr, who is dating United Stateswoman Nikki Stanton (unconquered), received hostilities on her Twitter after a 3-2 win over Brazil. She did not play ball: she left the detractors aside and scored four goals.