Major European governments, including the United Kingdom, have urged FIFA and independent broadcasters to swiftly settle on an agreement for televising the Women’s World Cup in July and August. This joint appeal follows FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s threat to withhold the tournament’s broadcast in five European nations – the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain – due to a financial dispute.
Infantino stated that broadcasters had proposed between US$1m (£800,000) and US$10m (£8m) for the rights, a stark contrast to the US$100m (£80m) to US$200m (£160m) offered for the men’s World Cup. The governments of the five countries involved in the disagreement have now released a joint statement expressing their concerns.
The statement reads, “We, as sports ministers of European countries whose women’s national football teams have qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand, from July 20 to August 20, 2023, have acknowledged with concern that until now, no television rights have been attributed for the matches broadcasting in our countries.”
The governments believe that media coverage of the Women’s World Cup is crucial for enhancing the global visibility of women’s sports in their European countries. They also highlight the significant impact media exposure has on the development of women’s and young girls’ sports practices.
The statement further emphasises the governments’ responsibility to “fully mobilise all stakeholders, for them to quickly reach an agreement.”
Earlier this month, Infantino expressed his disappointment with the current offers from broadcasters for the rights, labelling them a “slap in the face” for all exceptional players and “all women worldwide.”
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