(CNN) — The Chilean football federation (ANFP) has been criticized for its handling of a star player’s 100th appearance for the women’s national team.
Christiane Endler is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers, male or female, Chile has ever produced.
On Tuesday, Endler, the team’s captain and goalkeeper, made history by becoming the first player to reach 100 caps for the Chile women’s national team in a 2-1 victory over New Zealand.
However, the ANFP asked for the friendly match, the second against New Zealand in the space of four days, to be played behind closed doors. It also wasn’t broadcast anywhere, meaning fans in the country weren’t able to witness this landmark moment for one of Chile’s most successful athletes.
“Endler must be valued, she deserves a tribute worthy of the athlete she is and has been for the country,” her agent Edgar Merino told radio show Prenzafútbol. “[ANFP president] Pablo Milad and company should have planned and managed the situation better, she should have played her 100th match with fans.
“Although the ANFP had to hire more staff and open a stadium to honor her, they must understand that women’s football is here to stay, not for leaders to see and treat as a younger brother in the family.”
Milad had earlier explained that the ANFP decided to hold the match behind closed doors because they didn’t expect many fans to turn up due to it being against the same opposition, on a weekday and the difficulty they had selling tickets for the first friendly on Saturday.
“I spoke with Tiane [Endler], I told her that we are going to prepare a party for her in the next game, which she deserves, for everything she has given us as a player and also being an ambassador of our sport around the world,” Milad told Chile’s Sports Commission, per La Tercera.
“She deserves a spectacle with a lot of people, with a unique match, and to be at the weekend so the greatest number of people can attend.”
After years of dedication and professionalism, all Endler received on the day was a graphic posted on social media an hour after the final whistle.
Source : Erie News Now