FIFA President Gianni Infantino is still not happy with substandard bids for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
On Tuesday, Infantino lashed out at the “Big 5” European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK) for bids he called “very disappointing and simply not acceptable.” Infantino said that if the offers remain unacceptable, FIFA “will be forced not to broadcast the FIFA Women’s World Cup” in those five countries.
Here’s the full statement, via FIFA.
“The offers from broadcasters, mainly in the ‘Big 5’ European countries, are still very disappointing and simply not acceptable based on four criteria,” he said. “Firstly, 100% of any rights fees paid would go straight into women’s football, in our move to promote actions towards equal conditions and pay. Secondly, public broadcasters in particular have a duty to promote and invest in women’s sport. Thirdly, the viewing figures of the FIFA Women’s World Cup are 50-60% of the men’s FIFA World Cup (which in turn are the highest of any event), yet the broadcasters’ offers in the ‘Big 5’ European countries for the FIFA Women’s World Cup are 20 to 100 times lower than for the men’s FIFA World Cup. Finally, and concretely, whereas broadcasters pay USD 100-200 million for the men’s FIFA World Cup, they offer only USD 1-10 million for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is a slap in the face of all the great FIFA Women’s World Cup players and indeed of all women worldwide.
“To be very clear, it is our moral and legal obligation not to undersell the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Therefore, should the offers continue not to be fair (towards women and women’s football), we will be forced not to broadcast the FIFA Women’s World Cup into the ‘Big 5’ European countries. I call, therefore, on all players (women and men), 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. Women deserve it! As simple as that!”
Back in October, FIFA turned down bids from those five countries.
The UK government gave a minimal statement to Bloomberg.
“The prime minister, like everyone in the UK, would like to see such an important event televised, not least following the success of our Lionesses,” Max Blain, spokesperson for Rishi Sunak, told Bloomberg News.
Bloomberg reports that FIFA has inked a total of 156 rights deals across the world for the Women’s World Cup, including in European countries Belgium, Hungary, and Sweden. The tournament will air across Fox Sports platforms in the US.