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COVID-19: FIFPro survey shows impact on women’s game

A survey by international players’ union FIFPro has highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on the women’s game. Based on data collected by player unions in 62 countries, the survey shows a disproportionate impact of wage cuts and reduced support, which threatens to slow the recent development of the game.

“In 47 percent of the countries surveyed women footballers had wages cut or suspended. In 40% of countries, players received no mental or physical health support. In 69% of countries, communication with players was regarded as poor or very poor,” said FIFPro.

The survey was conducted in July and October and FIFPro general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said it shows how the women’s game is “routinely overlooked in many parts of the world.”

In the spring, FIFPro had already warned that the developing women’s game would be at risk from the unprecedented shutdown. While many countries saw the men’s pro leagues return once local health authorities allowed, few women’s leagues were given the same equality of support.

“There is a real danger that progress towards gender equality in parts of world football will be set back years,” Hoffman says.

FIFPro chief women’s football officer Amanda Vandervort said: “Like most industries, women’s football is being severely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

More than a quarter of national federations failed to consult with players about the protocols to enable a return to playing matches.

What does the FSA think?

We wholeheartedly back the report’s conclusion that to “bring football back better” the game must build a future that is “more inclusive, resilient and sustainable.” Players and supporters need to be part of those discussions.

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