Craig Foster rips Prince William over response to Matildas loss at World Cup

Craig Foster was not interested in commiserations from the royal family after the Matildas' loss at the Women's World Cup.

Craig Foster and Prince William.
Australian football great Craig Foster has ripped into Prince William, labelling a message sent by the royal following the Women's World Cup semi-final as 'patronising'. Pictures: Getty Images

The ongoing sporting rivalry between Australia and England is showing no signs of slowing in the wake of the Matildas' semi-final defeat, with Aussie football great Craig Foster taking aim at a 'patronising' act from Prince William. England's Lionesses secured a spot in the Women's World Cup final courtesy of their 3-1 win over the Matildas earlier in the week after a build-up unlike anything previously seen in Australian sport.

While it was heartbreak for the Matildas, the win had England overjoyed - with Prince William issuing a message of congratulations to the victors and one of commiseration to the Aussies. It was a conciliatory move given the heated Ashes series that had recently been completed, and a predictable one given the prince's role as head of Britain's Football Association.

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“What a phenomenal performance from the Lionesses — on to the final!” he wrote on official social media accounts. “Commiserations to the Matildas, you’ve played brilliantly and been fantastic co-hosts of this World Cup. W”

He wasn't the only royal to celebrate England's win, with King Charles also posting a message in support of both teams. The King said both teams had done their countries proud.

“My wife and I join all our family in sending the mighty Lionesses our warmest congratulations on reaching the final of the World Cup, and in sharing our very best wishes for Sunday’s match,” he said. “While your victory may have cost the magnificent Matildas their chance for the greatest prize in the game, both teams have been an inspiration on and off the pitch – and, for that, both nations are united in pride, admiration and respect.”

However former Socceroo Foster wasn't having a bar of it. An avowed republican, who has spoken many times in the past about his desire for Australia to abandon the monarchy, Foster said it was condescending to hear the royals talking up the Matildas.

“You’ve been proudly supporting England all tournament. Not a word for Australia," Foster said. "Not that we expect it. We prefer the honesty. Without the patronising pat on the head in defeat. Support the Lionesses & let us get on with our business, mate.”

Sam Kerr's unseen act for England rival after Matildas loss

There was no bad blood between the Matildas and Lionesses after the match though, with England skipper Millie Bright interviewed wearing Sam Kerr's jersey after the match. Kerr has made a habit of giving her jersey away after matches, memorably handing it to a fan after the quarter final win over France.

This time however, it was England rival and Chelsea teammate Bright who got the honour, with the rival skipper hailing Kerr as a one-of-a-kind player after the match. Bright had been seen commiserating with Kerr in the moments after the brutal semi-final.

Millie Bright and Sam Kerr.
Millie Bright and Sam Kerr, teammates for Chelsea, had mixed emotions after England defeated the Matildas to book a spot in the Women's World Cup final. (Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) (DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

“I’ve been after this shirt for a long time,” Bright said. “She is an incredible player and world class.

“She gets one moment and it’s in the back of the net. In football, we always have huge amounts of respect for our opponents and some of our opponents are more than that, they are friends as well.”

Bright lauded Kerr's ability to come back from a calf injury that saw her miss the first three games of the Matildas' campaign. “Huge respect not only for the (Matildas) team, but for Sam as well, my teammate back home,” she added.

“It’s hard, as much as she is the enemy out there tonight, she is a really good friend. I am really proud of her journey and having her injury and being able to be out there tonight.”

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