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Soccer Union Wants Equal Pay at the World Cup

The pay gap between men and women is increasing by a shocking $37 million

Brian Young's picture
Oct 29, 2018

Even in 2018, men still make more money than women for the same work. For decades unions have been fighting to lower this gap by negotiating contracts that provide equal pay for equal work. One international union is bringing the equal pay fight to the biggest stage of them all, the World Cup.

Last week FIFA, the international governing body of soccer and the group that puts on the World Cup, announced they would be doubling the prize money at next year’s Women’s World Cup to $30 Million. Additionally, another $11.5 Million would be divided between the 24 teams and $8.5 Million would be given to clubs that are releasing the players to compete in the international tournament. While the raises sound great, they simply don’t compare to what the men make.

Just last year, France won the Men’s World Cup and took home $38 Million. The winner of the Women’s World Cup will only take home $4 Million, since prize money is divided among the top teams. Sure that $4 Million is double what the US Women took home in 2015, but it pales in comparison to the men.

FIFPro, the union that represents both male and female professional soccer players had this to say about the change:

Despite these changes football remains even further from the goal of equality for all World Cup players regardless of gender.

In reality, the changes actually signify an increase in the gap between men’s and women’s prize money. This regressive trend appears to contravene FIFA’s statutory commitment to gender equality.


According to a tweet from the union, due to increases in the men’s prize money since the 2014 World Cup, the gender pay gap has actually increased from $343 Million to a whopping $370 Million. At the same time, interest in Women’s soccer is skyrocketing. In the United States, the 2015 Women’s final between the United States and Japan not only had 6 million more viewers than the 2014 Men’s final, it also had 3 million more viewers than that year’s NBA Finals just a few weeks prior. FIFPro is calling on FIFA to head their call and the call of players from around the world in taking steps towards pay equity.

With many countries still not investing in women’s leagues, the World Cup not only provides a platform to show off their skill, but it also provides the biggest opportunity for these women to get paid. At least in the United States, they are bringing more people to the broadcast than the men, so shouldn’t they be paid like the men?

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