Gianni Infantino to revive ‘blocked’ Women’s World League
Infantino, who was recently re-elected as president of soccer’s global governing body, told delegates at the FIFA Women’s Football Convention that he intends to revive “blocked” plans for a global women’s club competition.
The proposal forms part of FIFA’s bid to double worldwide participation in women’s soccer to 60 million by 2026, while finding a female equivalent to the men’s annual World Club Cup remains high on the agenda of both Infantino and Fatma Samoura, FIFA’s first female Secretary General.
The Women’s World League concept was originally proposed as an annual competition featuring 16 of the top national teams, plus four regional leagues and a system of promotion and relegation.
Infantino said: “I proposed two years ago the creation of a women’s world league because national team football is the catalyst of women’s football and we will see this with the World Cup here in France.
“Unfortunately, this project was a little bit blocked, let’s say, or put on hold. I can announce that I will put it back on the table, with even more strength and force because we need to promote women’s football.
“That is why we need to bring back, in football, [the possibility of] the Women’s World League, and the World Club Cup for women.
“We need to have proper and own identity for women’s football and this can only be created if we have a dedicated section within the [FIFA] administration, [which] has to push the development of women’s football.
“Football is a very male-dominated and macho-dominated sport, but it is moving and changing. The best is still to come, and will come soon than many things.”
His comments come amid heightened debate over the apparent inequality between men’s and women’s soccer, highlighted by the gulf between prize money allocated at this year’s ongoing Women’s World Cup and the men's tournament last year.
Whereas the men’s tournament in Russia included US$400 million in prize money, a total of US$50 million has been allocated to women’s event this summer, of which US$30 million is prize money and another US$20 million was allocated for the 24 participating team’s tournament preparations.
Infantino continued: “We are investing as well in women’s football. When it comes to the prize money for the World Cup, from US$15 million to US$50 million, is it enough? No. Can it do better? Yes. But it’s a step.”
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