Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg, 23, on Monday became the first player to win the women Ballon d’Ór award. This is coming after an impressive season where she scored 15 goals for French club side, Lyon during a triumphant Champions League.
Her feat was however marred when French DJ Martin Solveig asked her to twerk (a provocative dance move) as she gave her acceptance speech. She replied “no” and turned away from the podium as Solveig laughed off her answer with other footballers in the audience looking on in bemusement.
The bizarre incident has sparked outrage among fans online, with Solveig – who has apologised for causing offence – coming under heavy criticism for his “sexist”, “disrespectful” and “disgusting” request.
One viewer, Sean Walker, tweeted: “Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg, first female Ballon d’Or winner after scoring over 250 career goals at the age 23, asked to twerk on stage in front of footballing giants and the public watching. Disgusting and really ruined her moment she deserved. Poor.”
Tennis star, Andy Murray says the level of sexism in sport is “unreal”.
“Why do woman [sic] still have to put up with that s***? What questions did they ask Mbappe and Modric? I’d imagine something to do with football.
“And to everyone who thinks people are overreacting and it was just a joke… It wasn’t. I’ve been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal.”
“Another example of the ridiculous sexism that still exists in sport,” Murray wrote on Instagram.
Football journalist Siavoush Fallahi added: “What kind of question is this? And why are these guys laughing? This is disgusting, I’m so sorry for Ada Hegerberg.”
“Sincere apologies to the one I may have offended. My point was: I don’t invite women to twerk but dance on a Sinatra song. Watch the full sequence People who have followed me for 20 years know how respectful I am especially with women,” Solveig tweeted.
In her acceptance speech at the ceremony in Paris, Hegerberg said: “I want to say thanks to my teammates because this would not have been possible without them, my coach or our president Jean-Michel Aulas.
“I also want to thank France Football. This is a huge step for women’s football.
“And to young girls all over the world, please, believe in yourself.”
France Football has handed out a men’s Ballon d’Or every year since 1956 and the 2018 edition marked the first time in a decade that it had been won by someone other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Luka Modric won the award after helping Real Madrid to another Champions League trophy, before inspiring Croatia to an unlikely appearance in the World Cup final