“FIFA will still only offer women one quarter as much prize money as men for the same achievement,” they say in the video.
This year’s prize money sits at $110 million, compared with $30 million at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, in a tournament expanded from 24 teams to 32. But that is still well below the $440 million awarded at the 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar — a discrepancy that is at the heart of the equal-pay dispute globally.
Australia is co-hosting the World Cup with New Zealand starting Thursday, offering the players a platform to spotlight their concerns and leave a legacy for the young women coming up in the sport.
“Those that came before us showed that being a Matilda means something,” said Sam Kerr, the Matildas’ 29-year-old captain and a magnet for many young soccer fans. “They showed us how to fight for recognition, validation and respect.”
For those within our football community, our fans, our sponsors, our politicians,… pic.twitter.com/gVImezbX30
— Professional Footballers Australia (@thepfa) July 16, 2023
The Australian team, ranked 10th in the world, is in Group B with Canada, Ireland and Nigeria, and matches will be held in five cities across the country.
The nearly three-minute video, posted by the players’ union, runs through a list of hard-fought gains both large and small: from the first World Cup to award prize money to women in 2007 — 25 years after the men — to the Matildas winning the right not to have to wash their own uniforms in 2013.
In an effort to even out the disparity between the tournaments, the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams agreed to a deal last year that includes equal pay and a plan to share World Cup prize money. A number of countries including Australia have taken steps to close the pay gap between the men’s and women’s teams, but an equal share of World Cup prize money hasn’t been a part of those deals.
Sam Kerr mania heats up as Australia readies to co-host soccer World Cup
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has set a goal of equal prize money for the men’s and women’s tournaments by 2027. But he has suggested that sponsors and broadcasters should play a role achieving that. (At one stage, this year’s women’s World Cup faced a media blackout in parts of Europe after FIFA deemed their initial broadcasting bids “unacceptable.” A deal was eventually agreed in June, allowing little time to promote the tournament.)
The world players’ union FIFPRO has said equal prize money between the tournaments should happen “no matter what.”
A FIFA spokesman said Monday that the conditions for teams participating in the women’s World Cup, including travel, accommodation and team base camps, are equal to that of the men’s tournament. Equal prize money is still the “ultimate” goal.
The Australian players are also pushing for international soccer federations to allow women to jointly bargain for better pay deals — as the Matildas did to achieve the same pay and conditions as the men’s team, the Socceroos.
“Seven hundred and thirty-six footballers have the honor of representing their countries on the biggest stage this tournament, yet many are still denied the basic right to organize and collectively bargain,” the players said. “We call on all those in positions of power across football, business and politics to come on this journey with us to make women’s football as big as it can be here and around the world.”