Ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup which takes place in France this weekend, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) – the soccer players union in the country, has called on FIFA to offer the same amount of prize money for teams at the Women’s World Cup as it does in the men’s tournament.
The request is in response to the US$30m prize fund on offer in France dwarfed by US$400m at the men’s tournament in Russia last year.
The overwhelming support from the public and a distinct lack of equality has forced FIFA to agree to negotiations for increased prize money for women’s national soccer teams following the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
FifPro, the international representative body for professional players of the game, said they expect FIFA to begin fresh negotiations to close the gender pay gap between men and women’s soccer.
In a statement on its official website, FifPro said: ‘FIFA has agreed to our request to start negotiating new conditions for women’s national team players after the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and we are determined to making real and lasting progress on behalf of them [Australia women’s soccer team].’
With the current financial offerings, it would mean if the Australia women’s team won this year’s tournament, they would get half of what the Socceroos were paid at Russia 2018, where they were eliminated at the group stage.
In a letter to FIFA, PFA has asked that the prize money for France 2019 to be nearly doubled as a short-term solution, saying: “We suggest that, at a minimum, the FIFA council take the opportunity to increase the prize money to be awarded to the participating teams by US$27 million to a total of US$57 million.”
“This will at least address the exacerbation of FIFA’s discriminatory conduct.”
“We can then meet in good faith after the tournament to discuss how to fully realise FIFA’s statutory, regulatory and policy commitments to non-discrimination and the fulfilment of the internationally recognised human rights of the players,” the letter said.
With FIFA’s reported financial reserves of US$2.75 billion, meeting the PFA’s requests shouldn’t be an issue for the governing body.
Though it is yet unclear if FIFA will bow to the wishes of PFA and establish financial parity, the global governing body’s newly re-elected president, Gianni Infantino, said the Women’s World Cup had not been commercialised to its fullest extent and it should be generating more revenue.