FIFA Says Women’s World Cup Faces TV Blackout in Europe

With little over two months to go until the start of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand and little sign of an accord, the dispute risks overshadowing the biggest Women’s World Cup yet. FIFA has expanded the event to 32 teams for the first time as a sign of its commitment to grow the women’s game, and it has increased the prize money for players and the support money for participating teams to $150 million, a fivefold increase from the last tournament, which was held in France in 2019.

Infantino had hoped that much of that commitment would be financed by higher rights fees from international broadcasters. But in a rebuke to media companies both at the World Cup draw in Auckland last year and at FIFA’s annual meeting in March in Rwanda, he said that was not the case. Each time, he lashed out at the television companies for not paying more for a product that, he said, viewership figures had proved was increasingly popular.

With little movement since then, he took an even tougher line in his latest comments.

“I call, therefore, on all players, fans, football officials, presidents, prime ministers, politicians and journalists all over the world to join us and support this call for a fair remuneration of women’s football,” he said, repeating his remarks on his Instagram account. “Women deserve it. As simple as that.”

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