David Beckham cops huge criticism for referring to the England Women's team as 'girls'
| Last updated
Before the match, the former Manchester United star sent the team a video message wishing them luck.
In the clip, the 48-year-old said: “Hey girls!
“I just wanted to say, wow. What a tournament it’s been so far. It’s been so much fun to watch and we’re all so proud as a nation of what you’ve achieved already.
“Seeing you girls play as a team, it’s been really incredible. So continue to do so, good luck in this next game, and just know that our whole nation is behind you, as always. And good luck.”
His 11-year-old daughter, Harper, then wished the team good luck before Beckham concluded his message.
"Keep inspiring these girls because it’s incredible to watch, and I am very, very happy that you’re doing it for this one" he said.
“Good luck, girls!”
While his heart might have been in the right place, people in the comments have called on him to stop calling the team 'girls'.
“They are women. Please stop calling them girls!!!” one person commented.
Another added: “Next step: call us WOMEN not girls once we’re adults, please!”
A third said: "Girls’? Isn’t this a team of adult women?”
However, others in the comments defended the former Manchester United star.
“I’m amazed reading the negative comments from people instead of appreciating his well wishes. AND WOMEN ARE GIRLS no matter what age they are…. it’s just an endearing term, that’s all folks!!!" one person commented.
While others pointed out that the men's teams are often referred to as 'boys' as well.
“OMG! Everyone on here taking issue with him referring to the team as ‘girls’ must not have grown up as sports fans, because we refer to the adult MEN in our cricket, football and rugby teams as ‘BOYS’! Not everything has to be interpreted as a slight against women or anti-feminist," someone said.
The Lionesses will face Spain's La Furia Roja in the Women's World Cup final match on Sunday. It's the first time teams from both countries have made it to the finals.