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OTTAWA, Ontario – Several Norwegian players teamed with Norway's national TV broadcaster NRK to produce a "mockumentary" addressing sexist stereotypes and critics who say the women's game is no match to the men's.
During the four-minute video, Scandinavian players — in mock seriousness — reveal to an "interviewer" how much they struggle at soccer.
Midfielder Emilie Have acknowledges how she sometimes forgets to use her feet and instead tends to pick up the ball.
Goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth complains the goal is too large, and says it would be easier with two keepers or, better still, three.
"We suck, plain and simple," veteran defender Trine Ronning says in the Norwegian-language film, which features English subtitles.
The Norwegians pretend to send FIFA suggestions on how to improve the women's game. Their proposals include smaller pitches, lighter balls and having players throw the ball off free kicks.
They even produce a letter from FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who sums up his "response" to the proposals by writing: "HAHAHA these suggestions made my day. LOL."
Posted to YouTube on June 15, the video has attracted nearly 270,000 hits.
"For me, it's good humor," Ronning said this week. "It was a way for us to tell the people that we don't care about it, because the product is very, very good, as it's been shown in many matches in this tournament. We just have to joke about it."
Here are some other things happening around the Women's World Cup:
CLOSE, AND GETTING CLOSER: Swiss coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg realizes how close her young team was to advancing to the quarterfinal of the Women's World Cup. Switzerland was outplayed in the second half of a 1-0 loss to host Canada on Sunday after an impressive start.
She considered her team an "equal match" for Canada, and now Switzerland heads home to plan for the future.
"We may all be disappointed, but at the same time, this World Cup has been a huge experience for us," she said. "We should digest it, look at the moments to move us forward and take the next step."
The Swiss learned the margin for error is so slim at this level on the world stage. Voss-Tecklenburg has been there before as a three-time World Cup player for Germany, though her young team is still evolving.
"I feel bad for my players. They're sad, they're disappointed. They invested," Voss-Tecklenburg said. "They did a lot correctly. They allowed two goal chances and one went in."
RECORD ATTENDANCE: Women's World Cup organizers say they expect attendance at the Women's World Cup to reach a record 1.25 million.
The current record is 1,194,221, set in 1999 when the event was held in the United States. The U.S. national team won the World Cup with a victory over China on penalty kicks in the final at the Rose Bowl.
But it should be noted that the tournament has been expanded to 24 teams and 52 matches, up from 16 teams and 32 matches. And also, FIFA counts attendance at doubleheaders even though just one ticket gives access to both games.
"We're feeling very good, we're very happy," Peter Montopoli, general secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association and CEO of the tournament's national organizing committee, told the Canadian Press.
For Canada's 1-0 victory over Switzerland on Sunday night, attendance at BC Place in Vancouver was announced at 53,855, the largest crowd to watch a Canadian national team, men or women, in any sport. That broke the previous record of 53,058 that watched Canada defeat China 1-0 in the tournament opener in Edmonton.
The knockout-round match between German and Sweden on Saturday in Ottawa was also a sellout.
BORDER CROSSING: The U.S. should be expecting a warm welcome in Canada's capital on Friday, when they face China in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Ottawa organizers say that 50 percent of the tickets sold for the nine games played at Landsdowne Stadium were to Americans. Though Ottawa is a mere two-plus-hour drive from Syracuse, six from New York City and eight from Detroit, geography wasn't much of a factor.
Tickets were sold to fans as far off as Alabama.
The "Passport Packages," which went on sale first in September, allowed people to buy tickets for all nine games at each venue. Just as important, they guaranteed buyers the first opportunity to purchase individual seats for the championship game in Vancouver on July 5.
Numerous U.S. fans were already spotted in the crowd during the two Round of 16 games — Germany's 4-1 win over Sweden on Saturday, and England's 2-1 win over Norway on Monday.
AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley in Vancouver and Anne M. Peterson in Edmonton contributed to this report.