Women’s football faces existential threat – FIFPRO

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According to a report by the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO) many female footballers are at risk of losing their livelihoods due to football’s global shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report said specific measures were needed to help women’s football during the crisis, which has brought world sport to a standstill and caused the postponement of major international events.

In the report, FIFPRO said women’s football was especially exposed to the crisis due to its less-established professional leagues, lower salaries, narrower scope of opportunities, uneven sponsorship deals and less corporate investment.

Many were “teetering at the margins” even before the current crisis, it added.

Players were also worried that recent progress in the women’s game could be undermined by the fallout from the pandemic.

“They have been part of the industry growth, from the emergence out of amateur and semi-professional status into this transition towards professionals,” said the report.

“It has been a long journey, and it is difficult for players to see that hard-earned recognition and visibility at risk.”

With an average contract length of 12 months, many women players would not be protected against lost wages if competitions were called off, the report said.

It called for more investment in women’s football and the creation of “working environments whereby players are not exploited, their rights are valued, and they are accorded full respect”.

It also suggested that global industry standards should be created for working conditions in women’s football.

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FIFPRO.

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