Women’s World Cup Matildas slam FIFA’s unequal prize money ahead of tournament

The Matildas denounced FIFA’s unequal prize money in a video released ahead of the Women’s World Cup.

Just as the Socceroos did ahead of the Men’s World Cup in 2022, the Matildas have issued a statement, backed by their union, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), on the issues of concern to them.

“The growth of women’s sport and women’s football has been phenomenal and the transformation of the Matildas environment has been emblematic of this development in a very short period of time,” said PFA co-chief executive Kate Gill.

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“But gamers are keenly aware that much of this growth has been achieved through the brave actions of previous generations of players and that future progress will likely be driven by gamers who raise their voices again.

“Many more improvements can be made before women’s football truly achieves parity with men’s football, and the current squad of 23 players want to use their platform, and the World Cup platform, to accelerate new changes, but above all leave a legacy for future players.”

Each of the team’s 23 players speaks out in the video, detailing the story of this team’s fight for respect and equality on the local and global front and calling for action.

“As Matildas, we are part of a special group of players. We stand on the shoulders of giants who paved the way to give us the opportunities we have now,” Caitlin Foord said in the video.

“Those who came before us showed us that being a Matilda means something. They showed us how to fight for recognition, validation and respect,” added captain Sam Kerr.

The Matildas have long fought for FIFA to match their awards, including the ‘our goal is now’ campaign in 2019.

While the overall money distributed to member associations and players has increased from 2019 to 2023, a welcome but necessary move given the expansion of the tournament from 24 teams to 32, it remains below the money distributed across the men’s tournament for prize money, prep funding, and club benefits.

“Collective bargaining has ensured that we now get the same terms as the Socceroos, with one exception: FIFA will still only offer women a quarter of the prize money as men for the same achievement.” , said PFA executive member and Matildas utility Tameka. Yallop explained.

The real money prize for the Women’s World Cup is US$110 million compared to US$440 million for the men.

On his re-election earlier this year, FIFA President Gianni Infantino spoke of the governing body’s ambition to be able to equalize the prize money in time for the next World Cups in 2026 and 2027.

He called it “the hardest step, the most complicated step, the step that will take the most time” to achieve tournament equality.

FIFA reported total revenue of $7.6 billion for the four-year cycle from 2019 to 2022. This is an 18% increase from the previous four-year cycle. The organization also has reserves of US$4 billion.

There is currently nothing concrete to force FIFA to realize this ambition.

The Matildas also pointed to the lack of full-time opportunities for A-League Women’s players. While the coming season will feature a full home and away game for the first time in the competition’s history, many players are still working outside of their footballing commitments to ensure they earn a salary. decent. They called on fans to take their support from the World Cup and take it to the ALW and the next generation of Matildas.

The Matildas also urged leaders in football, business and politics to ensure that there are opportunities for women and girls in all areas of football and that these businesses and politics continue to work with the football to further support the growth of the game.

The team has also espoused the value of collective bargaining, which is not the case for many of the 736 players who will represent their country at this World Cup.

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