The investment in women’s sports has been an issue for as long as you can remember. With the little attention that female sports receives it has been hard to develop great teams in the USA and overseas. However, with FIFA including women’s national teams on the new 2016 FIFA video game, people argue that women have been given more equality. In a way this is true. Women’s sports are being advertised more by FIFA now and we have the option to play with our favorite women’s national team on this video game. With the number of females playing video games increasing, this is exciting news for us. Although this game has created equality for women, the investment is still very unequal. After Germany won the men’s World Cup last year in Brazil, they were rewarded $35 million dollars by the FIFA organization. After our USA women’s team beat Japan in the Women’s world cup finals (with record breaking views) they only received $2 million from FIFA. Does this sound like equality?
Salary caps is another way to compare the differences between men’s and women’s soccer. In the National Women’s Soccer League, all nine teams have a $265,000 salary cap. This means their players can receive a maximum of $37,800 per year. This does not compare to Major League Soccer salaries. The MLS has a salary cap of more than $3 million, and their average player makes $305,809 annually. This is eight times more than what the best female player makes in the National Women’s Soccer League. Even the famous Alex Morgan, who makes more than one million dollars from sponsors cannot compare to the men’s league. Landon Donavon makes two million just from his club team. This is more than what Morgan makes with her club team and sponsors combined. Proving to be another outlet of inequality.
FIFA defends these issues by saying that women’s sports do not bring in enough money to get paid as much as the men. Even with the $17 million that Fox brought in with ad revenue for the women’s World Cup, it still was not a match for the men’s World Cup. After the men’s world cup in Brazil, FIFA brought in $4.5 billion dollars in direct revenue. It is understood that this may be the case. However, I cannot help but wonder why female sports are not bringing in more numbers. I would like to argue the fact that if FIFA put as much money and sponsors into our women’s teams as they did our men’s team that our women’s teams would bring in more money. For example, the FIFA video game has been out for years and they are just now coming out with one that has women’s teams. Not to mention they did not include any women’s club teams. This belittles women’s sports in my eyes. If we are not good enough to be on a video game, why would we be good enough to watch on television?
Women’s sports still have a long way to go to reach equality. However we are starting to take a few steps in the right direction. If FIFA continues to help our Women’s programs grow I think they will reach an even greater amount of success.
This blog post was written by Samford University student Taylor Borman.