Misogyny in the World Cup: Soccer’s Unfair Pay Gap

February 10, 2023

Did you know that on average in 2020, for every dollar that a man makes, a woman makes about 82 cents? This unfair pay gap between women and men has been a reoccurring issue that affects women across the globe and in different fields of work, including famous athletes.

With the Men’s 2022 World Cup finally finished, the Women’s 2023 World Cup is quickly approaching. However, the excitement for this event is nothing compared to the anticipation that controlled soccer fans before the Men’s World Cup. Now, why is this? Some toxic fans are not the only place where misogyny is present in the sports industry. There is still a large pay gap between women’s and men’s soccer.

The 2022 Men’s World Cup was hosted in the country of Qatar, which itself has a misogynistic government. Many women even refused to travel to Qatar to watch the World Cup for fear of their safety. The ideas present in Qatar’s government have spread around the world, especially to young men and boys. These “fans” have often said that they are not going to watch the Women’s World Cup because they believe that it is not on the same level as men’s soccer.

In the United States, the women’s national soccer team often dominates the competition. Regardless of how strong of a team they are, they are still not held to the same standards that men are. When the women’s team qualifies for the World Cup, they earn about 750,000 dollars. On the other hand, the male team receives 2.5 million dollars for the same achievement.

The 2019 Women’s World Cup final, which the U.S. team was in, was watched by 14.3 million people in the United States. However, the 2022 men’s final, which the U.S. team was not in, was watched by 16.7 million people. In fact, the U.S. team was knocked out after the first game in the Round of 16.
As of 2022, Samantha Kerr, who plays for Australia’s national team, was the highest-paid women’s soccer player. She was earning about 500,000 dollars a year. Cristiano Ronaldo was the highest-paid male soccer player, earning about 200 million dollars each year.

After dealing with the misogyny in the industry, the women’s national team filed an official complaint in 2016 since male players were being paid about four times more than the amount they were paid. In the summer of 2022, Judge Gary Klausner granted preliminary approval of a 24 million dollar pay discrimination settlement. The Soccer Federation also announced that they announced their plan to make the pay equal for both teams.

Becky Sauerbrunn, a player on the women’s national team, comments on the new deal that will limit, possibly even fully remove, the pay gap. She hopes that the deal will “not only [provide] for equal pay but also in [improve] the training and playing environment for national team players.”
The sexism in the soccer industry reflects badly on young girls who dream of being female athletes in the future. It shows them that regardless of their talent, they will never be seen as equal to male athletes. Although a deal was reached in 2022 that will help close the pay gap between the U.S. soccer teams, there is still a lot of work to be done to make sports fairer for everyone.

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