October 29 – The world players’ union FIFPro says the huge increase in prize money announced last week by the FIFA Council for the women’s game is not enough to redress gender inequality.
Gianni Infantino told a post-Council press conference on Friday that doubling the cash for next year’s World Cup to $30 million, split between the 24 finalists represents significant progress.
As part of the changes, clubs will also receive financial rewards for the participation of their players in the women’s World Cup for the first time.
Ahead of meeting, it was reported that the players’ unions in Australia, Norway, Sweden, and New Zealand wrote to FIFA to raise concerns about why there is vastly more cash set aside for the men’s showpiece tournament. Players from World Cup holder, the United States, also called on FIFA to fulfill “statutory obligations on gender equality” over the cash winnings.
Infantino described the move to boost the prize pot as “a very important message for women’s football”, adding that “it will certainly boost this World Cup even more.”
“In the future I hope womens football will generate at least as much interest and revenue as men’s football.”
But FIFPro was unimpressed given that France alone earned $38 million from FIFA for winning the men’s World Cup in July.
“FIFPro notes the willingness of FIFA to increase prize money for the Women’s World Cup and make structural improvements to support women’s football,” it said. “However, despite these changes football remains even further from the goal of equality for all World Cup players regardless of gender.”
“In reality, the changes actually signify an increase in the gap between men’s and women’s prize money. This regressive trend appears to contravene FIFA’s statutory commitment to gender equality.
“We strongly support our members, women’s national-team players in multiple countries, who have written to FIFA in recent days expressing their dismay about the distribution of prize money.”
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