How FIFA Continues to Shortchange Women's Soccer
That FIFA, soccer's global governing body, is an evil, money-grubbing, dictatorial regime is a commonly accepted fact, especially after events over recent months. The ethically, morally and financially corrupt organization is often compared to the mafia, and usually comes off looking worse. Gender discrimination runs especially deep within FIFA, and it's handling of this year's Women's Soccer World Cup leaves a particularly bad taste in the mouth:
Dangerous compromises with playing conditions
Alarmingly, the women's world cup this year was played out entirely on artificial turf, something unheard of in international men's soccer. Artificial turf can be quite abrasive, with hard falls and tackles likely leading to serious rashes and other injuries. The playing surface also heats up much more than grass and, being harder, makes it difficult to judge the speed and bounce of the ball.
Compared to the men's soccer world cup last year, arrangements made for players were relatively much poorer. Not much thought went into hotel arrangements, for instance, with semi-final opponents made to stay in the same hotel. Such things would be unthinkable in men's soccer.
Disparity in payment
Gender discrimination when it comes to pay has long been a general societal issue, but in case of recent world cup tournaments organized by FIFA, the gap is notably inexcusable. The prize money for the world cup winning women's soccer team this year was a measly $2 million, compared to an astonishing $8 million for first-round losers in the men's world cup last year.
The level of discrimination still in practice in such a culturally iconic sport, in this day and age, is absolutely shameful. It's high time that those with power and influence in the game call for decisive action and changes in FIFA.