Champagne bottles were popping and Norway’s women’s football team was cheering after they qualified this week to play in next summer’s Women’s World Cup in France. The Norwegian team, however, still won’t include the country’s international female football star Ada Hegerberg.
The national team’s women secured their World Cup spot after beating the Netherlands in a qualifying match in Oslo on Tuesday evening. It was an important victory for Norway since the Netherlands won last year’s European Championships.
The Women’s World Cup will run from June 7 to July 7, 2019, with matches to be played all over the country. The semi-final and final will take place in Lyon, home of the top-rated professional team where Hegerberg has played for several years.
Hegerberg withdrew from Norway’s national team, though, after a dispute with top management. She complained of poor communication and a lack of tolerance for criticism and complaints and apparently has no regrets. “My decision was not based on whether the national team wins matches or loses in the future,” Hegerberg told newspaper Aftenposten on Thursday. “Nothing has changed regarding the decision I made.”
Norway’s team leadership isn’t asking her to come back, either. “She has been extremely clear that she does not want to play on the national team,” coach Martin Sjögren told reporters after Tuesday’s victory. He called his current team without either Hegerberg or her sister Andrine “fantastic” and said it “functions very well.”