Seven controversial and awkward moments at the Women's World Cup from handshake snub to X-rated blast and BBC apology | The Sun

THE Women's World Cup will come to an end this weekend when England face Spain in a thrilling finale.

It has been a tournament to remember, with so many twists and turns, unexpected exits and underdog stories.

But amongst all that there has been some controversial moments.

From X-rated rants to awkward interviews and even the odd broadcasting gaffe, this summer has had it all.

So as the curtain starts to fall, SunSport looks back at some of the most bizarre and contentious moments from the last month.

Handshake snub

ON the opening day of the Women's World Cup, Ireland defender Ruesha Littlejohn caused a stir when she refused to shake the hand of Australia winger Caitlin Foord.


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Fans suggested that the snub may have been motivated by Littlejohn's split from long-term partner and Ireland captain Katie McCabe.

They separated after more than seven years together shortly before the World Cup – as confirmed by McCabe on the UK's Player Tribune.

McCabe and Foord – who both play for Women's Super League giants Arsenal – are good friends off the field and went on holiday to Ibiza together prior to the tournament.

Littlejohn and Foord then clashed late in the match – which ended 1-0 to the Aussies – and the Ireland star had to be restrained by her team-mates.

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German star gets POTM – despite exit

ALEXANDRA POPP was far from impressed when she picked up her Player of the Match trophy following Germany's 1-1 draw with South Korea.

The shock result saw the European giants crash out of the Women's World Cup at the group stages.

Despite the circumstances, Popp was named Player of the Match.

But the devastated star could not have looked less happy when posing with her prize.

X-rated blast picked up on TV

IN another group stage gaffe, BBC commentators were forced to apologise after a foul-mouthed rant was overheard on TV during a match between Canada and Australia.

In the 65th minute of the clash, Canada's Allysha Chapman used some colourful language after clashing with Hayley Raso.

She shouted: "She f***ing jumped into me you t***!"

It prompted BBC commentator Robyn Cowen to swiftly apologise for the language.

Cowen said: "Apologies there if any language was picked up on the very sensitive pitch-side microphones it seems."

Graphic gaffe

THE BBC dropped an embarrassing clanger ahead of the first Women's World Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

Ahead of Spain's clash with Sweden, the broadcaster somehow completely messed up both line-up graphics.

For both semi-finalists, the starting XI was shown with the correct player names in the right positions.

But the BBC used photos of ENGLAND players instead in a hilarious blunder.

It saw Lauren James' face used for two-time Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Alexia Putellas and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd while Mary Earps took her place in goal under the names Catalina Coll and Zecira Musovic.

BBC apologise for 'inappropriate' question

BBC chiefs were forced to apologise after a reporter asked Morocco captain Ghizlane Chebbak an "inappropriate" question during a press conference.

Chebbak faced the media prior to Morocco's Women's World Cup opener against Germany.

During the presser, the forward was asked if there are any gay players in Morocco's squad.

A BBC World Service reporter asked: "In Morocco, it’s illegal to have a gay relationship. Do you have any gay players in your squad and what’s life like for them in Morocco?"

The moderator immediately stepped in, saying: "Sorry, this is a very political question, so we’ll just stick to questions relating to football."

Following the incident, a BBC spokesperson told CNN: "We recognise that the question was inappropriate.

"We had no intention to cause any harm or distress."

Rapinoe's awkward interview

MEGAN Rapinoe was forced to correct a reporter for an error following the USA's 0-0 draw with Portugal.

Reigning champions USA shocked fans by finishing second in Group E – two points behind table-toppers Netherlands.

The Stars and Stripes confirmed their spot in the knockouts following the draw, but one reporter questioned Rapinoe if she would've liked more from the game.

She responded: "What are you digging for here? I mean of course you want to win every game obviously but ultimately we don’t want to be going home…we’re alright."

The reporter then got her facts muddled by suggesting the last time the USA finished second in a group at the Women's World Cup they still won the tournament.

However, Rapinoe was quick to correct her, adding: "Japan won in 2011 actually. We did make it to the final but if you want to get to the final you have to get through the group stage I guess…"

The USA then crashed out of the tournament at the round-of-16 on penalties following a 0-0 draw with Sweden.

Rapinoe missed her spot kick before Lina Hurtig sent Sweden through in dramatic fashion.

Spain's ongoing feud with Vilda

SPAIN'S successful Women's World Cup campaign has been marred by an ongoing feud behind the scenes.

Last September, 18 senior players – including Aitana Bonmati, Ona Batlle and two-time Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas – went on STRIKE and protested a series of issues involving members of the coaching staff as well as the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

Sources told The Athletic that they pointed to a lack of professionalism from the RFEF and complained about the behaviour of certain members of Jorge Vilda's coaching team.

Despite claims that Vilda had created a toxic atmosphere among the camp, the RFEF stood by the manager.

And many fans and players were left angered as a result.

Despite this, five striking players travelled to the World Cup, while three chose to stay at home.

Mapi Leon, Patri Guijarro and Claudia Pina all made themselves unavailable for selection for the 23-woman squad.

And despite their absence, Spain have been able to advance all the way to the final.

But there is still some friction among the players and the staff.

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After being substituted in the 57th minute of Spain's semi-final clash with Sweden, Alexia Putellas completely dismissed Vilda and his assistant coach before taking to the bench.

Several Spanish stars have also been filmed ignoring the manager on a number of occasions throughout the tournament.

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