With Euro Women's 2017 just around the corner, Eurosport has revealed it will supplement its coverage of the women’s tournament in a similar fashion to last summer’s competition, by giving an outspoken pundit free reign to rant on the biggest talking points of the game. To that end the broadcaster has announced Hope Solo as the new Commissioner of Women’s Football.
Solo, who won the 2015 World Cup with the US and holds two Olympic gold medals, takes up the position as part of Eurosport’s coverage of Uefa Euro 2017 which kicks off on 16 July.
Playing on the similarities with the name of Harrison Ford’s iconic Star Wars character, Han Solo, Eurosport announced her appointment with a mock-up Star Wars themed video which opens with “a not so long time ago in a galaxy very, very close…”
— Eurosport (@Eurosport) May 31, 2017
Solo joins Eric Cantona, who was appointed commissioner of football for Euro 2016, on Eurosport’s growing roster of pundits who are renowned names within their respective sports. Her appointment is part of the broadcaster’s ongoing strategy to invest in on-screen talent with expertise in their respective sports which in turn will help give it an editorial advantage over other channels. This approach has also saw John McEnroe appointed as the commissioner of tennis.
The Seattle Reign FC goalkeeper will likely continue Cantona’s uninhibited approach to covering the sport given her outspoken reputation. The 35-year-old was suspended for six months for an outburst in which she called the Swedish national team a "bunch of cowards" and criticised their coach after the team eliminated the US at the Rio Olympics. She is also known to have had disputes with team mates and former US national players including Brandi Chastain, who she said was not educated enough to commentate on the sport.
Commenting on her new role with Eurosport, Solo said: “I’m delighted to be joining Eurosport ahead of what is a brilliant summer for women’s football in Europe. I’m here to shake things up, I will take no prisoners and I can guarantee fans an honest opinion”
The first Commissioner of Women’s Football episode will air during Eurosport’s coverage of the Uefa Women’s Champions League Final tonight (1 June).