17 February 2020

Ex-England football manager Fabio Capello says pitches are 'too wide' and goals 'too big' for women

Ex-England manager Fabio Capello clashed with former US boss Jill Ellis over the size of the pitch and goal in women's football.

The pair were on a panel at the Laureus Sports Awards with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Dutch manager and ex footballer Ruud Gullit.

When asked about the development of the women's game Capello said: “I think the goal is too big for women and that the pitch is too wide. When they play basketball and volleyball they lower the net because they are not tall like men.

“I think the size of the goals makes it really difficult for the keeper - because in football you have to jump.”

The panel featured, from left, Capello, Wenger, Ellis and Gullit (PA Images)

Ellis, who won back-to-back World Cup titles, responded: “I respectfully disagree. You’ve got to understand that the men’s game has been around for over 100 years. 

“We’re seeing taller athletes go into women's soccer. The purity of the game is the purity of the game and we all love it. 

"I don’t think we need to modify things because we have now got 6ft goalkeepers out there and over time the level of athleticism will continue to evolve.”

The awards ceremony will take place this evening with stars such as Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe nominated.

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