Charlie Hebdo kicks up controversy with vagina Women’s World Cup cover (VIDEO)

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is no stranger to stirring controversy and has again found itself at the center of an online storm after publishing a graphic cover cartoon to mark the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The FIFA showpiece kicked off in France last Friday, and is seen as a defining moment for the women’s game amid unprecedented coverage and attention for the event.

READ MORE: You don’t have to be a ‘sexist’ French philosopher to avoid women’s football

Charlie Hebdo decided to play on that with the cover of its edition this week, which featured a cartoon of a vagina with a football entering it.

A caption accompanying the cartoon read:“We will be munching on this all month!”

The image provoked an angry reaction from some on social media, with Twitter user @leebibim branding it “disgusting.”

“#CharlieHebdo,you have taken respectful soccer players from the world and sexually objectified them in the most distasteful way,” the Twitter account fumed. 

“This is outrageous and disgusting. I call on @Charlie_Hebdo_ to withdraw this cover and apologize immediately!”

Others wrote that it was “as offensive as it gets.”

Amid the uproar, RT’s Ruptly video agency took to the streets of Paris to get locals’ opinions – some of whom agreed that it was “vulgar and not representative of the Women’s World Cup.”

One local man, however, said that the cartoon was “rather funny because the feminist lobby is trying to sell us feminist football and the feminist everything, and for once, they are against that.”

Others have noted that the satirical mag has previously posted cartoons featuring male genitalia without meeting the same opprobrium.

When asked about the controversial cartoon, US women’s team player Samantha Mewis said she hadn’t seen it, but that it “sounds inappropriate” and that she hoped the tournament would help people respect female footballers more.   

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