Thursday 30 November 2023, 16:15

President Infantino stresses need for investment in women’s football in EBU address

  • FIFA President attended the 91st European Broadcasting Union (EBU) General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland

  • Updated agreement for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ resulted in the tournament being broadcast in 34 European territories

  • Mr Infantino highlighted the need for partnership with EBU to find the best solutions to promote and develop women’s football

Gianni Infantino has stressed the need for broadcasters to pay a fair price for the commercial rights to women’s football, encouraging delegates at the 91st General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to come together with FIFA to continually boost the women’s game. “The real message is to help us to promote women’s football in particular,” said the FIFA President. “It’s not just about the prize money but about the investment in the women’s game. With the intervention of the EBU and many of you, we have a great opportunity to promote it in the period between Women’s World Cups and European Championships.” President Infantino expressed his wish for broadcasters to show at least one hour of women’s football content per week, to provide a bigger stage for the players who he described as role models. “Let’s do this all together because we have great athletes and personalities (to show),” he said.

Mr Infantino met EBU President Delphine Ernotte Cunci and EBU Director-General Noel Curran on arrival at the General Assembly and they discussed the fruits of a partnership with FIFA that stretches back almost seven decades, to 1954. That included a collaboration on media rights for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ earlier this year which took the action from Australia and New Zealand to homes across 34 European territories.

“The message that we want to give together is that Football Unites the World,” added President Infantino. “We are here to work with you in unity to find solutions, to find impactful ways of promoting women’s football. Today, we have over 180 countries that have women’s football: it was only 120 before I arrived as FIFA President. “In the last seven years, we have managed to increase the investment in every country by a factor of seven. Now, every country in the world receives USD 8 million as a minimum in a four-year cycle. This money is invested in developing the game and, in particular, women’s football. Our revenues, of course, didn’t multiply by seven, they didn’t even multiply by a factor of two. They increased a little, but money today simply doesn’t disappear anymore. At FIFA, money goes where it has to go – in developing the game.”

The FIFA President emphasised the ten-fold growth in prize money for the FIFA Women’s World Cup now to USD 150 million, compared to when he assumed office and reiterated that it contributes to the overall development of the global women’s game. “It’s important for the development of our society and we are really committed to that,” the FIFA President concluded. “The EBU plays a very important role and, together, we have opportunities and possibilities. Football is the greatest sport of all, and it makes people happy and makes them all feel emotions.”

The EBU has 68 members (including members in Asia, Africa, Australia and USA), representing 112 organisations in 56 countries. Its’ members operate nearly 2,000 television, radio and online public broadcasting channels, giving the EBU a reach of more than one billion people worldwide, in over 150 languages.