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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Crowds honour US football heroes

Parade in New York

A rare ticker-tape parade in New York watched by thousands has honoured the US women’s football team, fresh from their victory at the World Cup.

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Some onlookers took their places along the stretch of Broadway, the Canyon of Heroes, in the early hours.

Wearing star-spangled headbands and waving American flags, spectators cheered the players as they passed on an open-topped bus.

The US defeated Japan 5-2 on Sunday in Canada to win its third World Cup.

Watched by an average of 25.4 million viewers, peaking at 30.4 million, the game was the most-watched football match in US history.

Crowds were five or six deep along the route, with chants of “USA! USA!” ringing out.

“I’m glad to see girls getting a parade,” said nine-year-old Christinah Delesine, who wore a blue football shirt. “There should be more.”

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John Comer had taken his young son and two daughters to the spectacle.

“I think it’s important the girls have role models,” he said. “It’s a chance to see women celebrated for doing something positive.”

One of the floats carried the tournament’s most valuable player, Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the final.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, also in the parade, hosted the squad at a ceremony at City Hall after the procession.

He told the crowds: “When they bought home that trophy they also bought back a message about the power of women – about the strength of women; and about the need to create a more equal society for all.”

The last time the city honoured a team of national athletes was in 1984 after the Los Angeles Olympics.

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