The Women’s Soccer World Cup and FIFA’s little interest

The Women's Soccer World Cup and FIFA's little interest
The Women’s Soccer World Cup

After Argentina’s victory at the World Cup in Qatar 2022, the Women’s World Cup time is approaching. The tournament will be played between July 20 and August 20, 2023 in different cities in Australia and New Zealand. However, unlike the male championship, it does not receive the same attention from FIFA.

Football is one of the most popular sports, both among men and women. And, although at the infrastructure and investment level it remains below the male, women’s football – commonly awaited as future – is at its best in terms of popularity. Especially in countries where it has had significant growth, such as Spain or England.

This is reflected in attendance and television audience figures. For example, the final of the World Cup, which was played in France in 2019, between the United States and the Netherlands was seen by 1,120 million viewers. Also, in terms of attendance, the female Barcelona (one of the best teams today) managed World record for Futfem youporn.

Precisely, in Europe is where women soccer players have gained more visibility and support. Thanks to an agreement between UEFA (Union of European Football Federations) and Danz, the Champions League matches can be seen freely all over the world by YouTube. And the last edition of this competition was seen by a record of 3.6 million viewers, something that was also seen in the Eurocup. Even so, Futfem still has games to win.

 

Gender inequality and salary gap

Gender inequality and salary gap-Women's Soccer World Cup-Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe

When you think of male soccer, extraordinary amounts of money can come to mind. Without going further, the last 75 million contract per season for which Cristiano Ronaldo will play in the Saudi Arabian League, just a country where women have a very limited freedom. However, this is not the same in women’s football.

In this case, the best paid soccer player, according to the newspaper AS, is the Australian Samantha Kerr, who plays in Chelsea and receiving 513,000 euros annually. Less than 1% of what Ronaldo perceives. Although this is usually explained by the difference between the money that moves male football and what the female generates, historical differences that include discrimination, machismo, lack of investment and even scientific myths are not taken into account.

Football as a sport began in 1863, and like other activities, it was clearly masculine. However, during World War I, when women were forced to work in factories, they also took the habit of playing football. At first they were very popular, until at the end of the war, the English Federation prohibited the use of sports enclosures for matches between women, worried that it would take away the popularity practiced by men.

 Women's Soccer World Cup and FIFA
(AFP)

From there, women’s football was relegated to oblivion until in 1971 the English raised the ban. Then, in 1981 FIFA officially recognized it and just in 1991 the first women’s World Cup was played. That is why it is not surprising that Futfem suffers from structures and investment if it had to fight for its development.

Even today, many clubs and federations, allocate what “left over” of male football for the development of their female branches. Although there are Futfem professional leagues in Spain, the United States, Japan, Sweden, France and Brazil, many countries still do not have one. In Latin America, for example, 12 countries do not have a professional league for women.

 

Women’s World Cup, without television rights?

This lack of investment also translates into television rights, which are key for sport to generate income and also increase popularity. However, FIFA has not been able to sell the rights of the 2023 World Cup due to the lack of good offers by operators in countries such as Italy, Germany, France, United Kingdom and Spain.

Other countries that have already insured television rights include the rest of Europe (by Eurovision Sport), as well as most Latin America, several countries in Asia and, of course, the countries New Zealand and Australia headquarters.

Although agreements are probably reached, it is not unreasonable to think that this would never happen to the male World Cup. And this will continue to be so until more women assume positions of power in sports institutions, both in federations and in the press, clubs and more. Because, as we have seen, it is not that women’s football “does not sell,” is that there is no one to sell it.

 

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The European Women’s Lobby project “Mobilising Young Women for Equality in Europe”

In July 1999, the EWL began a project called ” Mobilising Young Women for Equality in Europe” The overall objective of this project was to create awareness and facilitate debates among young women in the European Union about equality through an increased mobilization of young women in organised actions at national and European level.

The project was organised around a network of young co-ordinators in the 15 Member States of the European Union and a central coordination from the EWL Secretariat in Brussels.

Results so far
European and national seminars took place from November 1999 until June 2000. Theses meetings had several aims: discussing equality issues; awareness raising; establishing contacts.

The second European seminar brought together all national coordinators on 29 June – 1 July 2000, in Lisbon, Portugal, in concluding the seminar, the “Young Women’s Manifesto” was launched.

In Lisbon, the “Young Women’s European Network” was also inaugurated. It is a platform for discussion, and an access point of information on young women and equality in Europe. It also functions as a representation of young women’s opinions for decision makers and women’s organisations. Equally national networks of young women are being set up, or are already established in the EU Member States.

The Young Women’s Guide for Equality in Europe

Relationships between women and men, young women in education, employment, health, violence, the media, decision-making and European legislation on equality between women and men: these are the themes that young European women have chosen to analyse in the Young Women’s Guide. The aim is to highlight where progress has been made towards equality between women and men in Europe and to identify how the European Union can contribute to further progress.

This guide was designed by young women for young women, as a resource for raising awareness, to support lobbying actions in Europe Union and to facilitate debate in the Member States. The themes of this guide are by no means all encompassing; rather, they reflect a number of the key concerns of young women in the European Union.

For each theme, “The Facts” provides an overview of the situation of young women in Europe, “The Law” lists the main actions taken and European legislation on the subject and “Young Women’s Ideas” outlines the specific recommendations of young women for ongoing progress between women and men on each theme. This final section incorporates the opinions of many different young women, although of course it does not reflect the complete range of all young women’s opinions or the full diversity of women’s lives.

The project was partly funded by the European Commission under the 4th Action Programme on Equal Opportunities. The partners were the Portuguese Minister for Equality and the Portuguese as well as the Swedish EWL co-ordinations.