Football Tribe Indonesia
As a women’s football fan since 2013, this will be the second time I have prepared for and enjoyed the Women’s World Cup. For this edition, Asia will be represented by four teams; Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
Asian women’s football has been developing year by year. Japan once won the title back in 2011, and more Asian players play abroad in Europe and the United States. An example is Wang Shuang, who was dubbed the Chinese Neymar when she made a record-breaking transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. Additionally, several middle-eastern countries are now looking at the chance to enter for the next tournament, after FIFA repeals the hijab’s ban at an international level.
But we’ll talk about these concerns next time, as I want to highlight some broader issues before the Women’s World Cup started this weekend.
In annual FIFA meeting in Kigali, the recently re-elected FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced the increase of winners’ total prize and tournaments’ budget, which has been doubled from the previous edition. The winners will take 4 million USD, double that of what Carli Lloyd and her colleagues got when they won the tournament in Canada back in 2015. All of the 24 countries who are set to play in France will get 11.5 million USD, while the clubs get total 8.5 million USD to release their players this summer. But according to the Associated Press, the amount is still small when it’s compared to the men’s side of the game.
FIFPro, standing for players equalities, said that Men’s World Cup total prize money and tournaments’ budget was increased by about 12% from Brazil 2014 to Russia 2018, amounting to 400 million USD. With the same rules and the same risk of injury, many critics continue to note that FIFA has not done enough to cut the gap of salary inequality.
It’s not only about money – there have been many problems that make women’s football struggle currently, as players and managers faced various negative comments all over the world. This year, the competition will also miss one of the greatest talent, Ada Hegerberg, who stepped down from international football since 2017.
The talent on show once the tournament commences should help support the argument for more equal pay from FIFA. Regardless of the concern, this tournament is shaping up to be an entertaining spectacle for football fans across the world.