France 'not great World Cup hosts' – England keeper Telford

Carly Telford played in England’s 2-1 defeat to Sweden in the third-place play-off at the 2019 Women’s World Cup

France was not a great host for this summer’s Women’s World Cup, says England goalkeeper Carly Telford.

She believes vast distances between venues for group games made it “more difficult than it needed to be”.

The Chelsea player also claimed host towns and cities could have been more football-friendly.

England will host the 2021 Women’s European Championship, and Telford said: “Let’s not do this in 2021. Let’s not be like France in 2021.”

Phil Neville’s Lionesses were beaten 2-1 by the United States in the semi-finals, who went on to be crowned world champions for a fourth time.

England started the tournament in Nice against Scotland but had to travel 700 miles to Le Havre for their next group game against Argentina, before returning to Nice to face Japan.

“We didn’t get the easiest group for travel, in terms of having to fly south-north-south,” added Telford.

“They [the organisers] could have just kept groups south, east, north, west. It would have been easier.

“Then create a buzz around a group in those regions rather than having people traipsing all over the country and making it a little bit more difficult than it needed to be.

“It was brilliant when you’re in the tournament, but for fans, friends, family and everyone else, you’ve got to make a big buzz about it.

“Ultimately it was left to the French people to do that for us and it kind of let things down.

“If it wasn’t for the English, French and American fans, it would have been quite a sad tournament really.”

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Telford, who played in the semi-final defeat to the United States, claimed there was “no real guidance as to where the stadiums were or where the fanzones were”.

“Considering how well Holland [Euro 2017] and Canada [2015 World Cup] had hosted their tournaments, you were kind of a bit disappointed, especially because you’d class Europe as one of the biggest hosts of football.

“France, as well, having hosted a men’s World Cup not long ago, you’d have think they’d have nailed it on the head.”

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.



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