Why Equal Prize Money Is A Must for Gender Equality In Soccer

The struggle for equal pay for both men and women in sports– or any other field- has been there for as long as one can remember. Women’s World Cup has finally started receiving the hype that it should. However, even though the interest and support Women’s soccer received has increased over the years, it is still not enough to break the already existing stereotypes. But, as ExpressVPN’s blog highlights, having equal prize money can help promote gender equality in soccer.

This seems straightforward to solve a long-standing problem, but it isn’t. Even though sports has to be one of the most high-paying fields out there, it is also one of the most gender unequal. And so, advocating for equal prize money to promote gender quality in soccer is an uphill battle that needs to be fought.

Nevertheless, we’ve come a long way in our journey to equal pay, but there’s still a long way to go. If you want to know the current status quo, read this article until the end.

Advocating For Equal Prize Money Can Promote Gender Equality In Soccer

In the past, there have been glowering dissimilarities between the prize money awarded to men and women soccer players. For example, while the 2018 Men’s World Cup paid 400 million USD, the 2019 Women’s World Cup only received about 30 million USD.

Sadly enough, this is not an isolated incident. Lionel Messi, the highest-paid male footballer across the globe, makes around 140 million USD every year. On the other hand, his female counterpart, Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, the only woman to win the Ballon d’Or, gets paid about 0.3% of him.

Having equal pay is not just about money or making people rich. Having equal pay can establish a basic fact: the work and efforts of women players are just as important as those of male players. This will subsequently correct a self-perpetuating cycle of gender inequality in the sports industry.

But again, it’s not as simple as it sounds. There are all kinds of reasons being used out there to justify unequal pay. For example, some argue that women’s sport doesn’t generate as much revenue as men’s. Because of this, there’s little ROI. Some people believe men’s soccer to be more dominant as compared to women’s. They go as far as to say that women’s soccer is of lower quality— slower and mundane.

However, these preconceived notions are coming to be proven untrue with every new stage of the Women’s World Cup; the reality is quite different. The Women’s game, as per reports, has a higher goal-scoring rate as compared to that of men. Women score an average of 3.32 goals per match, whereas men only score 2.50 goals per match.

Similarly, you’re going to find a variety of arguments against fair pay for women soccer players. But, the counter-argument stated above should serve as one of the many proofs for soccer fans to reject the stereotypes they have been made to believe for years.

FIFA’s Response To The Situation

There have been many protests to make FIFA correct the situation. And very recently, FIFA, in response to the demands of the players’ union “Fifpro,” has taken drastic steps to address the issue. In 2023, the Women’s World Cup has been guaranteed to receive a minimum pay of 30,000 USD.

This decision is sure to promote greater gender equality. And even though this can be counted as a step in the right direction, there are still some gaps that need to be filled– on an equally urgent basis. For example, there’s still the challenge of annual salaries at the club level that needs to be dealt with.

Final Words

The Women’s World Cup serves as a crucial achievement in the journey to equal pay for both men and women soccer players. Although it looks small, given the bigger picture, it is still substantial. Making sports a viable field for women is a long, long journey. But having equal pay is going to inspire future generations of women soccer players and, hopefully, change the soccer landscape to make it more empowering and inclusive.

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