Neville questions FIFA over ‘surprise’ World Cup rule change

Date published: Sunday 23rd June 2019 9:46

England manager Phil Neville has expressed his surprise at FIFA changing a law midway through the Women’s World Cup.

The International Football Association Board accepted the governing body’s request for a temporary dispensation from the rule which sees goalkeepers booked if they encroach from their line at a penalty.

Neville, speaking ahead of his side’s last-16 tie against Cameroon, said: “It is a surprise, but we are best speaking about that after the World Cup, my true thoughts on a few things.

“We have just got to get on with it, the rules are the rules.

“There is nothing we can do with it, the goalkeepers have just got to deal with it.

“I have got three goalkeepers who are probably really frustrated and disappointed and can’t see the reasoning behind it, but we have just got to accept it.”

Neville gave a positive assessment of the condition of his squad.

“Every player is fit,” he said. “There were some really big performances the other day. It was great to get Demi (Stokes) and Toni Duggan back, they have been out with injuries and we needed them to get the minutes.

“(Georgia) Stanway is ready to play in any World Cup game we play in between now and the end of the tournament and Rachel Daly was probably one of our standout players, playing in a position nobody before the World Cup could see her playing in on the right hand side.”

Neville made seven changes for the final group game against Japan and will not alter his approach.

“We are in the last 16, I have to pick the best team to get us to the quarter-final,” he said.

“Every team in this competition is making changes, rotation is part of football.

“To ask a player to play in seven games in a World Cup is asking an awful lot. To get the best out of every player, you have to utilise your squad.

“A lot has been made that I do like to change my team, but imagine the opposition facing us. Cameroon won’t have a clue what our team or tactics will be.

“The players enjoy it because everyone has a chance of playing.”

 

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