The United States beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the tournament’s final match at Stade de Lyon in France. The gender pay gap that has long plagued women’s soccer has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years as players from all over the world have demanded parity from FIFA, the international governing body of soccer.
The difference between prize money for men and women is stark. This year’s Women’s World Cup has $30 million in prize money available, The New York Times reported, whereas the 2018 World Cup for men had $400 million available.
Videos show fans in the stadium chanting “equal pay” as Infantino and French President Emmanuel Macron walk onto the field for the postgame ceremonies.
Infantino said on Friday that he had proposed doubling the prize money for women’s teams that take part in the World Cup, but the disparity would still be huge. It’s also a familiar move. Last year, FIFA announced it had doubled the prize money for this year’s Women’s World Cup to $30 million ― a $15 million increase ― but it also added another $40 million to the prize money available for men, columnist Jessica Luther reported. This means men’s soccer now has $440 million of prize money available. Women’s soccer players and advocates have long said the pay issue is symptomatic of larger equality issues ― including FIFA’s disinterest in prioritizing the women’s game as much as the men’s.
FIFA is not the only soccer organization that fails to compensate women equally. Last week, more than 50 members of Congress wrote to the U.S. Soccer Federation to demand it pay the women’s team fairly, considering female soccer players receive a base salary of roughly $30,000 less than their male counterparts. They also earn less bonus money for making it to the World Cup.
“These disparities are particularly questionable given that U.S. women’s games generated more total revenue than U.S. men’s games over the last three years,” the letter added.