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Women players don’t share football mega-bucks, says survey

Italy and Sweden clash at the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 championships in the Netherlands © AFP/File / DANIEL MIHAILESCU

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Aug 2 – Neymar may be poised for a record-breaking move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, but a new survey has cast light on football’s gender pay gap with half of all female players paid nothing by their clubs.

Carried out in collaboration with Manchester University, the global players’ association FIFPro interviewed some 3,300 female players in 33 countries — including powerhouses such as the United States, Germany, England and France — for its first ever global survey of conditions in women’s football.

According to preliminary results released Wednesday, 87 percent of women players said they may quit the game early to pursue “a more sustainable career” or start a family.

The survey found 50 percent of the women players were not paid by their clubs, and 35 percent of national team players received no renumeration for representing their countries.

In a staggering comparison, the total prize money received by the 24 teams who competed in the 2016 Euro championships amounted to 301 million euros ($356m).

The 16 teams taking part in the women’s Euro 2017 championships in the Netherlands are likely only to share a pot of some eight million euros, according to UEFA figures.

“Our research shows how hard it is for even national-team players to make a career in football,” said FIFPro general secretary Theo van Seggelen said.

“Players who devote years of their lives to get to the top of the game are surely entitled to a fairer slice of football’s revenue.”

Caroline Jonsson, head of FIFPro’s women’s committee, said the results were “a powerful message about the difficulties female players are experiencing today”.

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Further results of the survey, which also examined issues such as career prospects, child care and abuse in the workplace, will be unveiled at a two-day FIFPro conference opening on Monday in Amsterdam, a day after the women’s Euro final.

Jonsson said FIFPro was committed to working with clubs and federations “to develop women’s football and give more players the chance to follow their passion for the game”.

In April, the United States Soccer Federation ended a months-long dispute by signing a deal with the US Women’s National Team Players Association, giving the women a sharp increase in base pay and match bonuses.

However, it reportedly stopped short of guaranteeing the women players pay equal to the men’s team.


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