Hundreds of players in the women’s game went unpaid during the World Cup qualifying rounds, a leading players’ union has said.
- Survey finds 29% of players weren’t paid
- Poor pitches for World Cup qualifying
- FIFPro said FIFA must improve conditions
WHAT HAPPENED? Nearly 30 per cent of international women footballers polled in the players’ union FIFPro were not paid for 2023 World Cup qualification games. The survey of 362 players also found that players had to endure poor pitches and did not receive proper medical checks.
WHAT THEY SAID: FIFPro director Sarah Gregorius said conditions must improve for all players in qualification for the following World Cup in 2027.
“Any stat below 100% in access to important medical checks is unacceptable,” she said. “We just want to work with whoever wants to work with us, particularly FIFA and the confederations, to understand why that is the case and how that can be prevented [from happening again] because that is certainly not something that should be acceptable to anybody.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The survey found 54 per cent of players did not receive a pre-tournament medical examination, 70 per cent did not have their heart monitored before qualifying started, and 39 per cent did not have access to mental health support. Two-thirds of the players surveyed had to take leave or unpaid leave from other work to take part in qualifying. Overall, a lot of work needs to be done to level the playing field in the women’s game.
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WHAT NEXT? Australia and New Zealand are hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in July and August and all eyes will be on them to put on a successful tournament.