Following backlash after urging women to “pick the right battles” in the fight for equal pay, Infantino has now said FIFA is a “pioneer” and the “doors are wide open”. for the change.
By Rob Harris, sports correspondent @RobHarris
Saturday, August 19, 2023 08:19, UK
FIFA president Gianni Infantino told Sky News that men should not “impose what they think women’s football should be” and copy the men’s game in a “bad way”.
In an exclusive interview before the Women’s World Cup In the final, Infantino said FIFA was “a pioneer” in investing in women’s football, contrary to criticism of the governing body.
It comes after the world soccer boss commented that women we must “convince men” what it takes and “picking the right fights” that had been “misunderstood or misused”, highlighting parts of the world that are unconvinced about the need to invest in women’s football.
When asked about the backlash, Infantino urged critics: “Come, unite, talk together, move forward together, believe in what we do, believe in doing things right. Together we are all stronger and together we can change things.”
He insisted that the conditions for men and women playing for national teams were already “absolutely equal”, although he conceded that “things have to change even more” around the world.
Sydney is preparing for the conclusion of the biggest Women’s World Cup in history, with England and Spain will meet in their first final on Sunday, after a record audience and anticipated revenue of $570 million (£448 million).
In a conversation near the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Infantino told Sky News: “What I would like to see is women telling us what women’s football should be rather than men imposing what they think football should be. women’s football, often copying men’s football and perhaps copying it in a bad way.
“So we want to be pioneers. As for fifa It is concerned, and as far as I am concerned, I think we have demonstrated with the facts around the world that we are very open, that we are transparent, that our doors are wide open.
“We also know that not all of us in all parts of the world are open and together with women… all together, all of us who have the same philosophy, things have to change even more, after the battles we all did to change many things.
“Well, together, let’s fight to open all those doors that aren’t open yet, to make them as open as FIFA and open them even more and get to where we all want to be.
“I think if we do that, if we stick together, the results will be much better than this fantastic World Cup, which was already great.”
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But Infantino has faced criticism for the number of matches he has attended in the women’s tournament, compared to the men’s final in Qatar last year.
And the speech he gave on Friday has taken some of the headlines out of the final at the Stadium. Australia – with scrutiny focusing on her tone when she talks about growing women’s football.
In response, Infantino said: “Sometimes it’s important that people listen to the entirety of a discussion, of a reasoning, because sometimes, in fact, taken out of context, some words can be misinterpreted or used incorrectly.
“I think what FIFA has done in recent years has been to really be a pioneer in women’s football.
“We have been increasing the prize money 10 times compared to when I started.”
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He added: “The conditions for the male and female players of the national teams are already absolutely the same: the Qatar World Cup for the men, the Australia-New Zealand World Cup for the women. Exactly the same condition. Because it is global, because that’s how it was.” be.
“We’re pushing it further. We’re working toward a path of equal pay.”
The Lionesses will play for their share of a $110 million (£86.1 million) jackpot for this tournament. This is more than triple what was on offer for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, but still significantly less than the $440m (£346m) awarded in the 2022 men’s competition in Qatar.
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