Gianni Infantino warns Europe to improve “disappointing” Women’s World Cup Offer or Else!
Europe’s top football nations face a broadcast blackout for this year’s Women’s World Cup unless the media can improve on their “disappointing” offers for the rights, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has said.
Offers from the “Big 5” European countries – England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France – were not acceptable to football’s world governing body and a “slap in the face” of the players and “all women worldwide”, Infantino said late on Monday.
“To be very clear, it is our moral and legal obligation not to undersell the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Infantino said at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva.
“Therefore, should the offers continue not to be fair, we will be forced not to broadcast the FIFA Women’s World Cup into the ‘Big 5’ European countries.”
The World Cup is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.
Infantino said broadcasters had offered only $1m-$10m for the rights,
Infantino first expressed his concern over the issue seven months ago in Auckland during the official draw for the 32-team tournament, saying that offers for the Women’s World Cup were “not acceptable”.
In March, at the world football’s annual meeting held in Rwanda, Infantino reported no progress with TV broadcasters while announcing a more than threefold increase in team prize money to $110m for the tournament after FIFA was criticized by players for not offering equal pay .
FIFA allocated $440m in prize money for the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar.
The Women’s World Cup now has standalone broadcast and sponsor deals rather than being bundled with the men’s tournament.
The FIFA leader suggested on Monday “public broadcasters in particular have a duty to promote and invest in women’s sport”.