— Published 22 May 2023

FIFA puts pressure on broadcasters

Time is running out, but nothing is happening. With less than two months to go before the opening of the Women’s World Cup (20 July to 20 August), co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, several major European nations still do not have a broadcaster for the competition. France, in particular. FIFA president Gianni Infantino was the first to express alarm, threatening to deprive the countries concerned of the event if their television channels did not offer enough. The body’s secretary general, Fatma Samoura, followed suit in an interview with AFP. “We have a good product, the most beautiful of women’s sport, she said on Sunday 21 May. Everyone talks about equality, parity. We would like these words to be transformed into actions. The simplest action is to value this World Cup at its fair price, that’s all we ask. France’s three matches are scheduled at midday in France in the middle of summer, when everyone will be on holiday. The TV stations need to put a little more money on the table and agree to come back to the negotiating table, with prices that reflect the popularity of the most popular sport in Europe and in France.” According to Fatma Samoura, discussions are underway with potential French broadcasters, but the offers received are not yet up to FIFA’s expectations. For a long time, broadcasters have been used to buying women’s competitions with symbolic prices,” continued FIFA’s number 2. “Sponsors and broadcasters play a vital role in the development of women’s football and I would like to see this transformed into effective and massive support.” In addition to France, Germany, Italy and Spain do not yet have an official broadcaster for the 2023 World Cup. But an agreement has been signed in 155 countries, including the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Brazil. Interviewed on Sunday 21 May on France Inter, the French Minister for Sport, Amélie Oudéa-Castera, was optimistic. “We must not panic, there is still a little time she explained. As they promised me, the broadcasters have to raise their offer a little so that everyone can do their bit. I am committed to ensuring that our players will be broadcast. I have mobilised my European colleagues so that we have a strong common position.”