The 2019 Women’s World Cup hosted by France kicked off this week, and for the next month, 24 countries will be competing to hoist the trophy. After the U.S. Women’s National Team started their group play in a dominating fashion, beating Thailand 13-0, fans of the sport and public officials have raised their concern surrounding the widening gap of equal pay between men’s and women’s soccer.

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According to CNBC, FIFA president Gianni Infantino declared that the prize pool of the 2019 Women’s World cup would be $30 million, with $4 million going to the winners. During last year’s Men’s World Cup, 32 teams competed for the $400 million prize pool with the winners, France, taking home $38 million.

The USWNT is in line with a gender discrimination lawsuit with the United States Soccer Federation regarding their players’ salaries compared to their Men’s National Team counterparts, according to The Hill. The Men’s National Team failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup after losing their clinching qualifying game against Trinidad and Tobago.


To possibly explain the widening gap, the men’s tournaments usually generate more TV revenue and overall viewership. During the 2018 men’s World Cup, almost 3.6 billion total viewers tuned in to watch, with the France vs. Croatia final gathering 1.1 billion viewers, according to the Washington Examiner. Compared to the 2015 Women’s World Cup that around 764 million viewers were added up.

Another reason revenue isn’t as generated is there are no major leagues that involve clubs for women’s soccer in major countries, such as France. There are almost 160,000 French women playing, but less than 200 are currently on a contract, according to Equal Times. There has been progress, however, as the French Federation is looking to build a league of clubs that would consist of TV deals and sponsorships that are essential to keep a league up and running.

The economies between the two counterparts are immense, and while activists of either side argue, there are small steps being implemented to even the gap as much as possible. The spotlight between the two is a complicated issue at best. According to CNBC, if the Women’s World Cup prize pool doubled every year, it would take until 2039 for theirs to equal the men’s. For now, the USWNT can focus on the field during this month’s tournament, and attempt to win back-to-back World Cups to let their play do the talking.


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