Hope has been one the leading advocates for equal treatment for female athletes, so when she sees a peer in need, she lends her voice.
That’s what happened when Abby Erceg, one of the stars of New Zealand’s national team, declared recently that she was retiring from international competition.
Erceg explained the situation in an interview with RadioNZ.com, according to Equalizer Soccer.
“The thing I’ve heard the most is we have no money and we can’t afford it, and that’s really hard to accept as a player when your organisation for the past eight years have been in a surplus and they’ve announced a profit for the last eight years.
“We just want an environment where we are able focus on this job that we call football and we’re able to do it without having to worry about if we pay the bills, if I’m going to be able to eat next week, if I’m going to get to these pinnacle events and be in a position where I can actually perform.”
Hope reposted Erceg’s initial statement on Instagram, and the expression of support made news in New Zealand.
Mad respect for @abbyerceg — I wish more footballers had the courage to speak out and take a stand. Sacrifice is never easy. #Repost @abbyerceg ・・・ Due to the unfortunate and unfavourable circumstances within the organisation that is nzf, it is with regret and great sadness that today is the day that I announce my retirement from the international game. Without being able to justify my involvement any longer I will be stepping back in the hopes to create change for the current and future generations of nz footballers. I will continue to enjoy a professional career at a club level which I still find great joy in and I look forward to taking on that endeavour in the coming years. I have encountered many personal successes within the international environment and it is sad that this is what's required to adopt change. I say thank you to anyone involved in my international career no matter how big or small your role was, you have helped achieve the successes that I have been so fortunate to find. Time to move on to places where female footballers are appreciated, respected and endorsed. I hope that nzf one day has this philosophy.