Female Footballers Highlight Issues In Preparation, Recovery, Compensation
FIFPRO surveyed 260 players from 26 of the 32 teams that participated in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand to find a pressing need for further player-centric improvements in key areas including the match calendar, medical support and compensation.
The tournament took place in July and August this year. In a report by the players’ union, 53% of respondents said they felt they did not have enough rest before their first World Cup match. Two-thirds believed they were not at their physical peak at the start of the sporting event.
Lack Of Adequate Rest And Compensation
Additionally, most players said they did not have sufficient recovery time after the tournament. 60% of the respondents said they felt their post-tournament rest was insufficient, while 86% reported getting less than a couple of weeks of rest before restarting work at their clubs.
The results do not go in line with FIFPRO guidelines that recommend an off-season break of four weeks and a re-training period of six weeks. One player called it “mentally exhausting”, while another said, “I was trying to rest and prepare at the same time, which doesn’t really work.”
Furthermore, the survey found one in three respondents earns less than $30,000 a year from football, and one in five has a second job, although the tournament is known to have broken records in terms of match attendance and television audience.
Lack Of Pre-tournament Medical Examination
In terms of medical support, 60% of players said they did not have mental health support. 22% of the respondents said they did not have an electrocardiogram (ECG), while 10% reported a lack of a pre-tournament medical examination, both of which are part of FIFA regulations.
“Players need an environment that supports their holistic well-being – from mental health through to tournament conditions, so they have the platform to be at their competitive best,” said FIFPRO Head of Strategy & Research for Women’s Football Dr Alex Culvin.