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Women's Ballon d'Or winner to miss World Cup

Ada Hegerberg: Inaugural Women's Ballon d'Or winner ruled out of World Cup

February 26, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The 23-year-old striker is still adamant to retract her decision to withdraw from the national team.

Head coach of the Norway women's national team Martin Sjogren has ruled star striker Ada Hegerberg out of the upcoming World Cup that will be held in France. The revelation comes in wake of the 23-year-old Olympique Lyonnais forward's decision to remain in exile.

Hegerberg featured for Norway in its disappointing Euro 2017 campaign that saw the 1995 World Cup winners crash out without scoring a single a goal. In the aftermath of the tournament, the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner announced her withdrawal from the national team, a few months before the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) and the nation's player' association (NISO) entered a milestone agreement to pay all players equally.

While Hegerberg's decision to snub Norway is believed to be a means to protest against the discrimination in women's football in the country, Martin Sjogren has revealed that all efforts to bring her back have proved futile.

Speaking to the BBC, the Swede said: "We tried to solve it, we had meetings, but she decided not to play," he said.

"As a coach, you need to focus on the players who want to be a part of the team and Ada doesn't.

"We respect that and we have been working hard with the other players and they have been doing a great job.

"She is a big profile in the game and Ada of course would be a great add to our squad if she wants to be a part of it," he said.

"I don't think much about it because we have to put all of our focus on the players who want to be here. We won't get that phone call because she has declared she is not going to play the World Cup."

Norway will prepare for France 2019 with the upcoming Algarve Cup. Their opening game is against Denmark on Wednesday.


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