FIFA Pursues With $1bn Investment Into the Women’s Game Despite Corona Worries

11 May 2020 | Social Responsibility
FIFA Pursues With $1bn Investment Into the Women’s Game Despite Corona Worries
FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has reiterated plans for a continued $1bn (over £800m) pledge into women’s football in spite of the current pandemic. COVID-19 has created an uncertain future for football and many fans ponder on what the post-quarantine climate holds for the game. The investment was in response to the victorious Women’s World Cup, bringing to light the tremendous advancements of the sport. The financial backing aims to assist the enhancement of a professional structure and commercial appeal after years of neglect from governing bodies and scarce stockholders. Yet, with Deloitte valuing the European football market at £22bn, will this be enough to level out the playing field and close the gender gap?

FIFA's first offer of $500m to span over four years for the women’s game was met with mass criticism. A review of the funding was quickly reconsidered after inconsistencies in world cup prize money between genders came as an insult to athletes and sports professionals. 

 

An abundance of anticipation was built at the conference after followers of the sport were able to see the readiness to reshape the somewhat struggling industry.

 

“We need to be a little bit brave and a little bit bold if we want to move women’s football onto the next level” Stated the FIFA President at the summit. 

 

Panic first brewed through FIFA’s statements to revise its finances due to the widespread epidemic. COVID-19 produced an abrupt pause to playing and attending all league games. 

 

The virus has made it somewhat difficult for clubs as they are temporarily barred from profiting out of matchdays, broadcasting, and events. The threat of reimbursements to commercial investors, season ticket holders and other essential contributors are becoming ever more daunting and are showing to cause major disruptions to their financial stature. 

 

During a discussion with the Guardian, FIFA confirms their continuation of funding into the game regardless of the virus. Moreover, the spokesperson discussed the need for financing to combat the effects of the virus, exhibiting its intrinsic nature in assisting adjustments for progress.

 

It is noted that FIFA possesses a cash reserve exceeding sums of $2.7 billion, with additional access to pending income avenues and vowed loans. The reserve was created in efforts to withstand situations such as economic misfortunes and widespread pandemics like what we have seen this year.

 

FIFA is using the review to assess the most hard-hit communities', associations, and other stakeholders to provide crucial assistance to maintain and uphold the compositions of female football. 

 

The virus is proving difficult in terms of operations of re-structuring of the game. The governing body has been working closely with The Professional Women’s Football Task Force and other shareholders to ensure a feasible and profitable future for the sport at present and post COVID-19.

 

Specific details concerning the disposition of funding remain obscure, though the international football federation has made reference to using funds in the reconfiguration of professional and grassroots leagues, tournaments, evolution and technical programmes, administration and professionalisation. 

 

A prescription of funding is not the sole curing reformation method for the growth and reform of the women’s game. Developments to matchday attendance, broadcasting and sponsorship, which has seen a significant increase in recent years, are underlying pinpoints needed to target to gravitate the sport.

 

 

 

Written by Tyra Wilson

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