Thu, Jul 18, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Santos women sleep in hotel lobby ahead of match

Reuters, SAO PAULO, Brazil

The coach of the Santos women’s team on Tuesday criticized the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) after her players were forced to spend part of the night in a hotel lobby before a crucial first-division game.

“This is the respect that people have for women’s football in Brazil,” said Emily Lima, as she recorded on video the players curled up on hotel sofas. “Goodnight to everyone who’s going to sleep quietly in their own beds before working the next day.”

Lima’s club Santos said the CBF’s logistics company hired to get the women to their match in Amazonia could not arrange a direct flight from Sao Paulo to Manaus and so had the players stop off in Brasilia overnight.

However, there was an error with the hotel reservations and so the team spent part of the night in the lobby until alternative accommodation was found at about 1am.

The CBF said in a statement their representative in Brasilia resolved the problem after less than an hour and is taking steps to prevent the problem from happening again.

Lima’s message came two nights before Santos — who sit second in the league — were due to play Iranduba and just three weeks after Brazil were knocked out the FIFA Women’s World Cup by hosts France in an extra-time thriller in Le Havre.

The US won the tournament for the second consecutive time.

“This is the reality,” said Lima, who was fired as coach of the national side in 2017 after just 13 games in charge. “Why is the United States so far ahead of us?”

Lima recorded more videos the morning after explaining how they had found a hotel in which to spend the night.

She also detailed Santos’ post-match travel plans, saying that after yesterday’s match the squad would return from Manaus on a 4am flight to Brasilia before catching a connection to Sao Paulo.

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