Coronavirus will see 'weakest link' women's football suffer - Hegerberg

Hegerberg labels women's soccer the 'weakest link' (1:58)

Ada Hegerberg speaks with ESPN about the financial support needed to keep women's clubs going. (1:58)

Lyon striker and inaugural Ballon d'Or Femenin winner Ada Hegerberg has told ESPN women's football will suffer because of the coronavirus pandemic as it is often viewed as the sport's "weakest link."

Hegerberg, who has been out since January with a ruptured ACL, won a sixth straight title with Lyon this month after all football in France was cancelled for the 2019-20 season.

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"I think when you see football as a whole and sports as a whole is suffering obviously the weakest link is always going to suffer more from situations like this and if you look at it historically it has always been a fact," Hegerberg told ESPN.

"We're kind of at the stage where we're still in need of that help and when you see football as a whole and the men's football is struggling you can also imagine yourself how the women's football is affected of this.

"It is all about not losing position again. I think it is very important to stay in the discussions with the women's football because I think it has been a very positive trend the last years and we need that to continue and from a challenge like this and a crisis like this we need to raise our voices obviously to keep the subject warm."

Hegerberg added that the situation wasn't entirely up to the clubs, with a responsibility on players to produce enjoyable games.

"Obviously the men's game has a massive amount of money and I don't think that's kind of the general need. I think the general need is to get what we deserve for how we perform because we have a huge responsibility as well," she said.

"I think it is very important not to forget that we need those equal opportunities but we also need to perform to show that we have a quality product that people can't out see in the need."

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Hegerberg had planned to be back training with Lyon for the team's summer preseason. However, this is now in doubt with no confirmation of when the 2020-21 season will start.

"I think that is part of being a professional," she added. "To always be ready whatever moment it would start again. Most important is to be prepared mentally and physically if it is going to start again."

Lyon were five points clear at the top of the table when they were named champions and Hegerberg has no problems with winning her sixth title in such an unusual fashion.

"We would all love to finish a league but that is the decision that was made but you have to adapt and we will take the title. We were happy about it," she said.

However, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has challenged the French government's decision to end all football in France, calling it "stupid."

Lyon's appeal before an administrative tribunal was rejected on Friday, but they are now expected to lodge another appeal before the State Council, France's highest court, alongside relegated Amiens and Toulouse.