The FIFA World Cup was an exciting time for soccer fans worldwide. However, some controversy arose regarding how much money the U.S. The Women’s National Team (USWNT) and Men’s National Team (USMNT) would receive from FIFA, soccer’s international governing body.
Soccer’s international governing organization, FIFA, and its president, Gianni Infantino, could learn a thing or two from their American counterparts.
If the U.S. men’s national soccer team beats the Netherlands on Saturday in the round of 16, they will earn an additional $13 million from the World Cup, bringing their total prize money to $17 million. One-half of the prize money will be awarded to the U.S. women’s national team due to the historic collective bargaining agreement negotiated in May between U.S. Soccer and its national teams.
The USMNT’s decision to share its World Cup prize money with the USWNT is laudable. While FIFA has been reluctant to do anything that might tarnish its upcoming Qatar World Cup, the USMNT has shown itself to be a model of sporting behavior.
This move by the USMNT sets an important precedent and shows that equality and mutual respect are more important than winning or losing. It also helps to underscore that women’s soccer is just as exciting and thrilling as men’s- something that too many people still seem inclined to doubt.
The U.S. Women’s National Team will earn at least $6.5 million if you do the arithmetic, which is at least $500,000 more than they received for winning the last two World Cups. There you go. When the U.S. men advanced to the quarterfinals in Qatar 2022, the U.S. women received a larger prize pool than for any of their previous two World Cup victories.
“It’s a historic moment. Equal pay,” Tyler Adams, the World Cup team captain and a player representative during negotiations, remarked after the CBA was announced. “How often do we talk about equal pay in different areas of the world? In our own country? We can be the milestone for other people to look at and say, ‘Is this a possibility?'”
The U.S. men’s national soccer team deserves credit for taking this step. When they realized that men and women were being paid differently for the same work, they knew they couldn’t participate in what they knew to be unjust.
They realized they might benefit from national teams sharing their World Cup prize money after receiving no pay for failing to qualify for the 2018 event in Russia and the women receiving $4 million for winning in 2019.
The U.S. men are now eligible for additional privileges that the USWNT has enjoyed for years, such as childcare during national team training camps and competitions. Goalkeeper Matt Turner has already taken advantage of that by sending a nanny to Qatar with his wife and young boy.
“When it comes to equality, it was important to us and the women that everything was equal, and we were very transparent about that. We were able to achieve that,” before the World Cup started, Turner said.
However, the USMNT should never have had to step in and fix the USWNT. Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long line of FIFA’s missteps regarding women’s soccer status.
The winner of the Qatar event will take home $42 million, which is $12 million more than the overall prize pool for the women’s event in 2019. The total prize pool is $440 million, increasing from $400 million in 2018.
Infantino has proposed tripling the prize money to $80 million for the women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand next summer. Due to the growing number of participants, it will have to be distributed among 32 teams.
Infantino will point out that the women’s World Cup doesn’t make as much money as the men’s version, along with the noble humans who live to criticize women’s sports. But who is to blame for that?
Additionally, Infantino criticized broadcasters last month for making “100 times less” of an offer for the rights to the women’s event than they did for the World Cup for men. Whose fault is that once more?
In 1999, the Rose Bowl was crowded with 91,000 spectators for the USWNT vs. China World Cup final. Women’s teams, both club and national, have recently broken attendance records in North America, Europe, and South America.
The World Cup in Australia and New Zealand ticket sales were “unprecedented,” according to FIFA, with more tickets selling in the first month of availability than in the first four months of 2019.
FIFA has only recently begun offering individual commercial rights for the women’s World Cup. Before this, sponsorships and television rights for the men’s World Cup were together like a side of fries in a combo meal.
In October, Infantino stated, “We are trying to commercialize the women’s World Cup for the first time on its own,” That was really kind of you, FIFA.
The FIFA World Cup is widely considered the biggest and most prestigious event in world football. However, one gaping hole in its coverage is the lack of a women’s tournament.
Despite evidence of a sizable market for it, FIFA has never even entertained the idea of holding a Women’s World Cup. This sexist attitude towards women’s football has cost FIFA millions in revenue over the years, depriving many talented female players of having their chance to shine on the world stage.