Chelsea manager Emma Hayes is upset with the officiating in her club’s 2-2 draw against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Controversial decisions “robbed” the English club from a win in its first match of the Champions League group stage, Hayes said. In the second half, two key decisions went against the Blues, with a questionable penalty awarded to Madrid in the 78th minute and a would-be last-minute winner for Chelsea ruled offside.

“I think we’ve been robbed of what should have been a 3-1 game,” said Hayes, who has been named head coach of the U.S. women’s national team.

Video assistant referee (VAR) review was not available. After the match, UEFA released a statement on VAR is being rolled out gradually across its competitions, though it did not provide any timeline for when it might come to the Women’s Champions League group stage.

“UEFA already plans to implement VAR at the UEFA Women’s Nations League finals next year and will continuously evaluate the possibility to implement VAR in competitions or stages of competitions where it hasn’t been so far,” the statement read.

In the fifth and final minute of stoppage time of Wednesday’s draw, Chelsea scored on a close-range goal from Niamh Charles. But the flag was raised for offside, to the confusion of coaches and players alike. While Kerr was in an offside position, it was not in a way that impacted play, Hayes said.

“It’s embarrassing,” Hayes said. “I had to check because Niamh’s onside, but the reason the goal was ruled offside was because Sam [Kerr] was interfering with the goalkeeper.

“[Kerr is] about seven yards away from the goalkeeper, she’s nowhere near her, so I cannot understand the decision whatsoever.”

Following the draw, other players called out the lack of VAR, which isn’t set to be used in Champions League competition until the knockout rounds.

“I think it has to be used in the Champions League from minute one when the group stage starts,” Barcelona winger Caroline Graham Hansen said Thursday. “Every year we are doing things to improve [the game], but it’s clear that it should be utilised in the group phase as well as the knockouts.

“Like [this week], the games are intense, there are a lot of decisive situations and, at the end of the day, I think everyone just wants games to end with the result as it should end. If we can have help, that helps.”

Her teammate Salma Paralluelo echoed the calls for VAR.

“At the end of the day, VAR is a tool that makes things as fair as possible on the pitch because of the support it provides,” Paralluelo said. “Not having it can lead to wrong decisions. We need it both in the league and in the Champions League [group phase]. I think it is super necessary.”

England’s Beth Mead, Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfö and the U.S. women’s national team’s Alex Morgan were among the many international soccer stars who voiced their support for Jenni Hermoso amid Spain’s World Cup controversy.

Hermoso and her teammates have called for leadership changes at the Spanish soccer federation after president Luis Rubiales’ unsolicited kiss of Hermoso at the World Cup final. Rubiales has refused to resign from his position, describing the growing backlash against him as a “social assassination” by “false feminists.” The Spanish government plans to suspend Rubiales during its investigation of the incident.

“So does he actually think he is the victim?” Swiss star Lia Wälti wrote. “The whole world has seen what happened. Makes me feel sick!

“With you, Jenni Hermoso, and with the rest of the team who deserves so much better than that!”

From the USWNT, Morgan echoed sentiments similar to those shared by teammate Megan Rapinoe earlier in the week, saying she was “disgusted” by Rubiales’ actions. Tobin Heath, who won the 2019 World Cup with Morgan and Rapinoe, called out the Spanish federation’s “patriarchy, sexism and misogyny.”

Mana Shim, who helped bring to light the coaching abuse scandal in the NWSL, called Rubiales’ refusal to resign “horrifying.”

“If we can’t agree to punish sexual misconduct caught on video in front of millions, how can women anywhere in football feel safe?” Shim wrote.

Portuguese star Jéssica Silva called out Rubiales, saying in her native language: “Let measures be taken!” She also called Rubiales’ speech “disturbing” and said repercussions should have happened “yesterday.”

“The footballers of the Spanish national team made history!” she wrote. “They were world champions for the first time!” she wrote. “And now they should be celebrating, without controversy, just with joy! However, they are fighting for something that should be common to all of us… RESPECT.”

Canada’s Janine Beckie called the behavior of the Spanish federation “unacceptable” and expressed support for Hermoso.

“No one, no player should EVER have to experience the behavior that we’ve seen from so called leaders in the Spanish federation & the continued actions suggesting this behavior is ‘normal’,” she wrote. “Unacceptable. Jenni Hermoso, we’re with you.”

Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen, meanwhile, called Rubiales speech “all lies.” Graham Hansen plays with Hermoso for Spanish club FC Barcelona.

“We all see what really happened,” she wrote.

Sweden’s Fridolina Rolfö, meanwhile, called for change.

“No-one should ever have to fight in their place of work for respect, to feel safe or for their basic human rights,” she wrote. “Things have to change. I stand with Jenni Hermoso and the Spanish team.”

England star Beth Mead said that women’s soccer in general and the Spanish players in particular “deserve more.”

“No players should have to endure this,” she said. “It’s unacceptable, and also laughable that these men still are allowed so much power. Jenni Hermoso, we are all with you.”

Spanish players came out in force in support of teammate Jenni Hermoso after national federation president Luis Rubiales refused to resign Friday in a defiant speech.

Rubiales has come under fire for his unsolicited kiss of Hermoso during Spain’s World Cup celebration on Aug. 20. While reports indicated he would resign, instead he doubled down, saying he would “fight to the end.” The Spanish government later started the legal proceedings necessary to suspend Rubiales.

After the speech, Hermoso’s World Cup teammates spoke out in condemnation of Rubiales and in solidarity with Hermoso. So did prominent members of “Las 15,” the group of Spanish players who protested against the national team environment ahead of the tournament.

Two-time reigning Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas called Rubiales’ refusal to step down from his post “unacceptable.”

“This is unacceptable. It’s over,” Alexia Putellas wrote in Spanish. “With you partner @Jennihermoso.”

Spain’s Irene Paredes also expressed her support for Hermoso, writing in Spanish: “Everyone saw what happened. The victim is you. I’m with you friend.”

Aitana Bonmatí, who won the tournament’s Golden Ball, wrote in Spanish: “There are limits that cannot be crossed and we cannot tolerate this. We are with you mate.”

Olga Carmona, who scored the game-winning goal, chimed in as well, posting a photo of herself and Hermoso embracing each other after the World Cup win.

Patri Guijarro, Mapi León and Clàudia Pina, all of whom were among “Las 15” and made themselves unavailable for World Cup selection, referenced the longstanding dispute between the players and the national federation.

“It’s over. With you @Jennihermoso,” Guijarro wrote in Spanish. “Unfortunate to reach this point to believe that the complaints from months ago were real.”

León shared similar sentiments, writing in Spanish: “It has not been necessary to spend a lot of time to see that what was demanded a few months ago was not a simple tantrum. The images speak for themselves, and I don’t think there is much more to add. It is unacceptable. For all the women, with you @Jennihermoso.”

So did Pina, who wrote in Spanish: “It is unfortunate that this situation had to come to pass and that many of us have had to give up our dreams to be heard.”

In Rubiales’ speech Friday, he reiterated that his kiss of Hermoso was “consensual,” but the 33-year-old midfielder has refuted that point. She issued a statement Wednesday in conjunction with the Spanish players’ union that said such actions “should never go unpunished.”

On the men’s side, several former Spain internationals criticized Rubiales as well. David de Gea noted that his “ears are bleeding,” while Iker Casillas called the speech a “total embarrassment.”

Real Betis player Borja Iglesias said that while wearing the Spanish national team jersey is “one of the greatest things that has happened to me in my career,” he would not wear it again until “things change and this type of act does not go unpunished.”

FIFPRO, the international players’ union, also issued a statement calling for “immediate disciplinary action” against Rubiales. FIFA opened an investigation against Rubiales on Thursday, and FIFPRO said it also has appealed to UEFA to request disciplinary proceedings.

“Any lack of action by authorities in addressing the conduct of Mr. Rubiales would send an entirely unacceptable and damaging message to the football industry and wider society,” the statement read.

Norway star Caroline Graham Hansen has apologized for lashing out at head coach Hege Riise but stood by her frustration over her benching in Tuesday’s scoreless draw with Switzerland at the World Cup.

A regular in the starting lineup for Norway, Graham Hansen was brought on as a second-half substitute Tuesday. After the match, which ended in a disappointing draw for the Group A favorite, Graham Hansen voiced her frustrations in a TV interview.

“It’s tough, I don’t know what I can say. There’s not much I can say, I feel like I’m standing here with my hands tied,” she said. “I feel I have been stepped on for a whole year — everyone says all the time that we have to stand together as a team and as a nation, but I feel I’ve been on the receiving end (of a raw deal.)

”Nothing comes for free in life, but I thought I had earned a certain amount of respect, but maybe that wasn’t the case.”

She apologized Tuesday, saying that “emotions got the better” of her after the match. But she also noted that she still “strongly disagreed” with Riise’s decision to leave her out of the starting XI.

“I just want to apologize for my statements after the match. I’m just a human being with a lot of feelings,” she told reporters. “Emotions got the better of me. I took the focus away from what matters, and that is being here to play the World Cup.

“I respect that the coach decides, and she has the right to do what is best. I know it causes unrest around the team, when I speak out as I did yesterday. It was… not the rational me.”

She also addressed her comment about being on the receiving end of a raw deal after Riise was appointed head coach, again apologizing without backing down.

“A year ago I was removed from the leadership group as one of the first things Hege did,” she said. “I also disagreed with that, but it was not relevant to yesterday, and should not have been referred to. So I apologise for that. I want to do everything to help Norway further.”

Riise accepted the apology and said Graham Hansen is still a part of the team’s plans for its final group-stage match Sunday against the Philippines. Norway needs a win for a chance to advance to the knockout stage.

“She is genuinely sorry for her emotional outbursts, not only now, but also a bit back in time,” Riise said. “There is no reason why this cannot be a success story. We had a crash, now it has to be reset and then we will continue working forward.”

Just Women’s Sports is here with your daily World Cup Digest, breaking down all of the biggest storylines from each day of action in Australia and New Zealand.

Today’s top World Cup news: Philippines shock New Zealand after controversial VAR call

The Philippines got their first World Cup goal – and subsequently their first World Cup win – against New Zealand on Tuesday.

The stunning 1-0 defeat came after New Zealand seemed to equalize in the 68th minute but had the goal disallowed on a VAR call. The video review showed the head of New Zealand’s Hannah Wilkinson crossed the offside line by the slimmest of margins before her shot.

“It’s so heartbreaking for everyone in this team,” New Zealand coach Jitka Klimkova said. “We played to win and it didn’t go our way. We were fighting until the end, but it wasn’t enough.”

On the other side, the Philippines celebrated a historic triumph. Sarina Bolden scored the game-winner, which made her the all-time leading international goal scorer for the Philippines. The goal meant everything, she said after the win.

“It feels overwhelming, crazy — it feels like I’m in a dream,” Bolden said. “It doesn’t feel real.

“I literally can’t put it into words. This has been a dream of mine as a little kid to just be here at the World Cup, let alone even score.”

Today’s top highlight: 18-year-old Linda Caicedo scores first World Cup goal

Linda Caicedo broke onto the senior international stage in thrilling fashion as she scored in Colombia’s 2-0 win over South Korea. The goal came in her senior World Cup debut, and marked the third time she’s scored at a World Cup in a year – the only player to ever start and score in three World Cups in the span of a year.

Yes, you read that right.

Last August, Caicedo featured on Colombia’s U-20 team at the Under-20 World Cup in Costa Rica. She scored twice against New Zealand in the group stage. Two months later, Caicedo played at the U-17 World Cup in India, where she helped Colombia to a runner-up finish and was tied for the tournament’s top goal-scorer with four goals.

And last night, she made her senior World Cup debut, becoming the second-youngest South American player to score a debut goal since Marta in 2007. At just 18 years old, Caicedo already has beaten cancer (she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 15), signed with Real Madrid and made her name known on multiple international stages. Get ready, world. Linda Caicedo has arrived.

Today’s results:

  • Philippines 1, New Zealand 0
  • Norway 0, Switzerland 0
  • Colombia 2, South Korea 0

More World Cup news to know:

  • At 16 years old, Casey Phair became the youngest player in World Cup history to appear in a match after subbing on for South Korea last night.
  • Zambia cut its match preview press conference short Tuesday due to persistent questions about an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against head coach Bruce Mwape. Last September, Zambia’s FA announced that it had referred an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse to FIFA. In July, the Guardian revealed that Mwape was among those being investigated. When asked Tuesday if it would be good for the team for him to step aside, Mwape asked: “What environment affecting the team in particular? What are you talking about? I would like to know because there is no way I can retire without reason. Maybe your reason is because what you are reading from the media or from the press, but the truth of the matter should actually come out, not just on rumors.”
  • Norway winger Caroline Graham Hansen was unhappy about starting her team’s game against Switzerland from the bench. The game, which was missing Ada Hegerberg due to a groin injury, resulted in a 0-0 tie. “It’s tough, I don’t know what I can say. There’s not much I can say, I feel like I’m standing here with my hands tied,” she said in an interview after the match. “I feel I have been stepped on for a whole year — everyone says all the time that we have to stand together as a team and as a nation, but I feel I’ve been on the receiving end [of a raw deal]. … Nothing comes for free in life, but I thought I had earned a certain amount of respect, but maybe that wasn’t the case.”