Women's Sport: Jill Ellis "respectfully" disagrees with Fabio Capello's suggestion women's pitches and goals should be made smaller

Italian Football Federation 'Panchina D'Oro' Prize

Fabio Capello has come under fire for calling for goals in women's football to be made smaller and pitches made narrower.

The former England men's manager was speaking on a panel discussion with Arsene Wenger, Jill Ellis and Ruud Gullit at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday. The Italian said he had been watching the women's FIFA World Cup held in France last summer but had "one question" about the women's game.

“I think the goal is too big for women and that the pitch is too wide. When they play basketball and volleyball they lower the net because they are not tall like men.

“I think the size of the goals makes it really difficult for the keeper - because in football you have to jump," Capello said.

Former US Women's National Team head coach, Jill Ellis, winner of two back-to-back World Cup titles, also featured on the panel and responded to the Italian's comments, saying she "respectfully disagreed" with Capello.

"You’ve got to understand that the men’s game has been around for over 100 years. We’re seeing taller athletes go into women's soccer. The purity of the game is the purity of the game and we all love it.

"I don’t think we need to modify things because we have now got 6ft goalkeepers out there and over time the level of athleticism will continue to evolve.”

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