Female U.S. soccer star Rapinoe on FIFA treatment: 'It certainly is not fair'

By REUTERS
July 6, 2019 20:43
2 minute read.
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Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)



International soccer's governing body, FIFA, isn't doing enough for women, despite a proposal to double prize money at the next Women's World Cup competition four years from now, U.S. co-captain Megan Rapinoe said Saturday at a news conference in advance of Sunday's Cup final.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced Friday that the organization is proposing a $1 billion investment in women's soccer over the next four years as well as an increase in the number of teams in the next competition in 2023 from 24 to 32.



The prize money for this year's Women's World Cup is $30 million, while the pool for the men's World Cup last year was $400 million.



"It certainly is not fair," Rapinoe said of the difference in prize money between men and women. "We should double it now and use that number to double it or quadruple it for the next time. That's what I mean when we talk about, 'Do we feel respected?'"



in 2015, FIFA doubled the 2019 prize money for the Women's World Cup to $30 million, and this year, raised the winning team's share to $4 million. The Cup-winning men's team from France last year received $38 million.



"Earlier in the year, a quote came out that I said, 'FIFA doesn't care about the women's game,' and that's what I mean," Rapinoe said. "If you really care about each game in the same way, are you letting the gap grow? No. Are you scheduling three finals on the same day? No. Are you letting some federations play two games in the four years between each tournament? No, you're not."



Rapinoe, who turned 34 on Friday, has criticized FIFA's decision to schedule the men's Copa America and CONCACAF Gold Cup finals after the Women's World Cup final on Sunday.



The United States will meet the Netherlands at 11 a.m. ET in Lyon, France.



FIFA officials said putting all three finals on the same day will attract attention to the sport. Rapinoe said it's taking away from the achievements of the women, treating it like an appetizer rather than an entree.



"It's terrible scheduling for everyone," Rapinoe said. "It's a terrible idea to put everything on the same day. In every way. Obviously, there are two other finals going on but, this is the World Cup final. This is, like, cancel everything day. The World Cup final is set so far in advance, it's actually unbelievable. No, we don't feel the same level of respect that FIFA has for the men."



Rapinoe is among the 28 members of the U.S. Women's National Team who sued the United States Soccer Federation in March for gender discrimination, contending the woman receive lower pay, as well as benefits such as training, medical treatment and coaching that are inferior to their male counterparts.


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