Soccer-One in three players at Women's World Cup earn less than US$30,000, says FIFPRO

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Quarter Final - England v Colombia - Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia - August 12, 2023 Colombia's Linda Caicedo in action REUTERS/Carl Recine

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - While the 2023 women's World Cup featured record prize money, many of the tournament's players still lack adequate financial compensation and one in five supplement their income with a second job, according to a FIFPRO poll released on Wednesday.

The global players union found that one in three of those World Cup players earn less than $30,000 a year from soccer from their national team and clubs combined. That figure does not include the pre-tax $30,000 minimum World Cup prize money that players were guaranteed from FIFA.

The total prize money at the women's World Cup, the first where it was guaranteed to go to the players themselves, increased to $150 million, 10 times what it was in 2015 and three times the amount of 2019. The figure, however, was still dwarfed by the $440 million prize pool for the men's World Cup in Qatar last year.

"The players gave everything they had to put on a brilliant World Cup, but there are still important gaps that need addressing," said Sarah Gregorius, FIFPRO's director of policy and strategic relations for women's football.

FIFPRO surveyed 260 World Cup players from 26 of the 32 national teams.

While some players have yet to see the money guaranteed by FIFA, Gregorius said the delay in some countries was largely due to things such as payment schedules and that FIFA were working with them on the issue.

"A lot of players have been paid and we're getting a lot of feedback on how life-changing this is for them, and at the end of this hopefully we're in a position to say 100% of the players have been paid (and that) it's really shifted the needle when it comes to compensation, gender equity and pay equity in football more broadly and in sport more broadly."

The poll also found that 53% of players felt they did not have enough rest before their first World Cup match. Two-thirds believed they were not at their physical peak when the tournament kicked off, and 60% said their post-tournament rest was insufficient with 86% reporting they had less than two weeks off before rejoining their club.

The survey also found that 10% of players did not have a pre-tournament medical exam and 22% did not have an electrocardiogram (ECG), both of which are part of FIFA tournament regulations.

"Anything below 100% when it comes to access to an ECG or undertaking a pre-tournament medical is not acceptable," said Alex Culvin, FIFA's head of strategy & research for women's football. "Regulations need to be applied and adhered to in full."

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Toby Davis)

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