Australia’s national women’s soccer team has called out FIFA for offering far less prize money at the Women’s World Cup than it does the men’s event — just days before the 2023 edition begins in their home nation and New Zealand on Thursday.
Professional Footballers Australia — the country’s union for soccer players — released a video featuring the 23 members of Australia’s team taking exception with the $300 million pay gap between the men’s and women’s World Cups.
“FIFA will still only offer women one-quarter as much prize money as men for the same achievement,” Australian midfielder Tameka Yallop said.
Compared to the $440 million the men’s teams played for in Qatar last year, FIFA is paying out just $110 million to teams competing at the Women’s World Cup. The disparity comes after an ugly runup to the World Cup that saw FIFA president Gianni Infantino threaten to black out the games in some European countries due to extremely low offers for broadcasting rights.
Despite finally getting those key deals in place, FIFA has reportedly fallen $100 million short of its goal for overall broadcast fees to show this World Cup around the globe. Media payments will total $200 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. FIFA had been hoping for $300 million.
Amid the financial pains, this Women’s World Cup is on track to break an attendance record with well over 1 million fans expected to attend games — but sales in New Zealand are lagging so far behind that 20,000 free tickets are being given away.