Damning report shows working conditions in women's football 'infringe basic human rights'

Working conditions in the women's game aren't good enough according to a new report (PA Images)
Working conditions in the women's game aren't good enough according to a new report (PA Images)
10:27am, Thu 30 Apr 2020
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A new study has claimed working conditions within women's football ‘infringe basic human rights’.

Fifpro, the global union for professional players, carried out the research and says the results show standards are ‘blocking the growth of the game'.

It shows that 3.6 per cent of the world's female players do not get paid despite playing at the World Cup and top levels of the game.

In addition, more than half of the top players around the globe do not think their club has enough backroom staff.

A positive in the report was that the average club salary is increasing.

The findings are based on speaking to players from teams which qualified for the 2019 World Cup, as well as other nations. 

Of 184 players quizzed, 54 players felt their clubs were understaffed while 23 said they had ‘no strategy’.

South American players highlighted ‘inadequate accommodation, transportation and training facilities, which are vastly inferior to their male counterparts'.

The National Women's Soccer League was one of the only leagues to show an increase in attendances, with the 2019 season showing a 21.8 per cent increase on the previous year.

The report added: “While average attendances are low in the majority of leagues, there are some commendable initiatives which demonstrate that under the right conditions, there is enormous potential for reaching higher attendance numbers at women’s club football competitions."

Additionally, the report said many players were unable to take part in international matches as they clashed with club games.

Fifpro concluded: "The professional women’s game is subject to adverse labour conditions which negatively impact the sporting performance of players, pose direct obstacles to the development of their potential or force them to leave the game early,.

“As such, these conditions not only infringe on the basic rights of players but also block the growth of the industry. They are not only harmful to players but to federations, leagues and clubs.

"It is clear that the adverse conditions confronting female players today are heavily rooted in biases and preconceived notions that have long placed a lack of value on the women’s game and those who play it.  

“While women’s football has long been viewed as a cost to the industry, it is in fact an asset of great value - to the sport and society - that can steer the industry in a positive and sustainable direction.”

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