Growth of professional women’s game hit hardest by virus, finds FIFPro survey

November 12 – Professional women’s football has been severely damaged by the coronavirus pandemic with wages cuts and a lack of support. A survey by global players’ union FIFPro highlights the impact of the virus on women’s game that in many countries is still only in the early stages of development.

“This survey’s findings show that in 47 percent of the countries surveyed women footballers had wages cut or suspended. In 40% of countries, players received no mental or physical health support. In 69% of countries, communication with players was regarded as poor or very poor,” wrote FIFPro.

The global body collected data from national unions in 62 countries from July through October. “The results of this survey underline the extent to which women footballers are routinely overlooked in many parts of the world,” said FIFPro general-secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann.

In the spring, FIFPro had already warned that the developing women’s game would be significantly at risk from the unprecedented shutdown. While even in the more developed football countries the men’s pro leagues returned to action once local health authorities allowed, few women’s leagues were given the same equality of support.

FIFPro chief women’s football officer Amanda Vandervort said: “Like most industries, women’s football is being severely affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

However, the players’ union also noted some positive developments amid the general downturn.

In Italy, the FA is working with the government to grant the women’s league a professional status. In the Netherlands, the women’s team negotiated a return to action to play along with the men’s league and in Argentina the FA revealed a plan to keep the women’s league professional for another five years.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1606968316labto1606968316ofdlr1606968316owedi1606968316sni@o1606968316fni1606968316