‘Can’t be bothered’: Fans slam Prince William for Lionesses final snub

Prince William has been criticised for not being present to support the Lionesses in their World Cup final against Spain.

Fans in England have criticised Prince William after he posted a video message saying he is “sorry” for not travelling to Australia to support the Lionesses as they take on Spain in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final.

William, who is the president of England’s Football Association (FA), sent his “good luck” and apologised to the women’s team in a video message late on Saturday. But fans said the royal family’s heir’s attitude showed the monarchy’s “actual attitude” towards women in sport.

“Lionesses, I want to send you a huge good luck for tomorrow, we’re sorry we can’t be there in person but we’re so proud of everything you’ve achieved, and the millions you’ve inspired here and around the world,” William said in the video that shows him sitting next to his daughter Charlotte.

“So go out there tomorrow and really enjoy yourselves.”

Princess Charlotte, who has a football balanced on her lap, added: “Good luck Lionesses.”

The England women’s team, led by Millie Bright and coached by Dutchwoman Sarina Weigman, are the reigning European champions and are looking to become the first English team to lift the World Cup trophy since the men’s team in 1966.

William’s snub was met with sharp criticism on social media by football fans, opposition leaders and celebrities.

Some media reports in the United Kingdom said William was “concerned about his carbon footprint” over the 19-hour flight from London to Sydney.

The trip could also reportedly lead to diplomatic complications as King Charles, Australia’s monarch, has not made a state visit down under and William’s trip could lead to political and security problems.

Charlotte Nichols, a member of parliament from the opposition Labour Party, said the reasons still seemed “pretty poor”.

Fans said the absence of William and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak from the final at Stadium Australia on Sunday would show that they “can’t be bothered to support the Lionesses in person” and it depicted their “attitude to women in sport”.

Spain’s Queen Letizia has travelled to Australia for the final with her 16-year-old daughter Sofia to show the country’s “commitment” to national football, the Royal Spanish Football Federation said in a statement earlier this week.

The Spanish queen’s visit has added to fans’ criticism of William.

YouGov, a British internet-based market research firm, said its polls showed 52 percent of Britons expected the monarch to support the Lionesses in person.

You can follow Al Jazeera’s live coverage of the final here.

Source: Al Jazeera