Women's football star Hope Solo backs 'courageous' Abby Erceg

Football Ferns skipper Abby Erceg has quit. Photo / Getty Images
Football Ferns skipper Abby Erceg has quit. Photo / Getty Images

One of the biggest names in women's football has lent her support to Football Ferns star Abby Erceg following her shock international retirement.

Erceg has blamed her decision to quit at the age of 27 on a lack of support from the national body.

Double Olympic gold medalist Hope Solo has reacted to Erceg's decision on Twitter.

It's not a decision that was made lightly but Erceg has decided enough is enough.

Erceg said the Ferns are "undervalued" by New Zealand Football, saying they have failed to create and maintain an adequate high performance environment for domestic-based players.

"The girls need to be able to live and not be worried about paying the bills or where their next meal is coming from," Erceg told Radio Sport. "That is how a lot of the girls are living at the moment [and] it's not a high performance environment.

"It's not an environment that anyone should be living in really ... especially with the amount of effort that we put in."

Erceg, who made her debut in 2006 and has competed at three Women's World Cups, thinks there should be more recognition of the sacrifices made to produce results.

"I think we are a little undervalued," said Erceg.

"[In my time] we have gone up eight Fifa ranking places and had consistent results against top nations like Japan and Brazil.

"We are not looking for thousands or even hundred of dollars a week. We are just looking for New Zealand Football to take away our expenses so we can do our job."

"The [current] environment doesn't allow us to live. I've seen it for 12 years and not got paid. I'm not going to turn 30 and have nothing to show for the past 12 years of my life ... people need to walk away from this game with something."

- NZ Herald

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