FIFA President Gianni Infantino has stunned fans ahead of the Women’s World Cup final with a bizarre speech.
The 53-year-old, who holds the most powerful position in football, told players they had to “choose the right battles” in the fight for equal pay and equal treatment.
Speaking in Sydney, he said: “I say to all women, and you know I have four daughters so I have a few at home, I say to all women that you have the power to change.”
“Choose the right battles. Choose the right fights. You have the power to change.”
“You have the power to convince us men what we must and must not do. You do it. Just do it.”
“For men, at FIFA, the doors are open. Just slide the doors. You are open.”
Many fans were stunned by Infantino’s bizarre speech, with one person tweeting: “I regret to announce that FIFA President Gianni Infantino is back at it.”
Another added, “It’s easier to tweet when he’s not around.”
A third wrote: “Being a man myself, comments like this from people like him terrify me.”
“A lot of us are better than him, believe me. women are better than him. Most people are better than him!”
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A fourth person commented: “For decades he’s kept women out and now he’s saying just open the doors. No, you have to invite them.”
While a fifth simply said, “He really just needs to stop talking.”
Infantino’s comments also drew criticism from Lyon forward and former Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg.
The Norway international tweeted: “I’m working on a little presentation to convince men. Who’s in?
Infantino shocked fans with his unusual speech ahead of the men’s World Cup in November.
He began an hour-long presentation by saying, “Today I feel like a Qatari. Today I feel like an Arab. Today I feel like an African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel handicapped. Today I feel like a migrant worker.”
“Of course I’m not Qatari, Arab, gay or disabled.”
England meet Spain in the final of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday.
The Lionesses are unbeaten at this Women’s World Cup, claiming victories over Haiti, Denmark, China, Nigeria, Colombia and Australia.
Meanwhile, Spain have won all but one of their games en route to the final.