FIFA has a hard time letting the Women’s World Cup fall short

Electing a FIFA President is probably as close as you can get to being a World President as you can certainly wield an insane amount of power and influence as governor of the world’s most popular sport. Exactly what Gianni Infantino did to earn a second term is unclear promising for smaller nations who constantly fear the power and influence that, for example, UEFA wants to exercise. In any rational world Infantino’s toddler breakdown on the eve of the World Cup in November would have been a disqualifying event. But FIFA is not the rational world. Damn this guy easy compared his own struggles on Rwanda’s post-genocide recovery.

Whoever casts votes for Infantino and has convinced everyone else that there is no point in running against him since he is unopposed seems to have gotten used to the organization’s problems. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to be. And this week was full of it.

It started yesterday when Human Rights Watch pleaded with the regulator of football to use the Legacy Fund they created before the World Cup to compensate migrant workers and their families because of their unpleasant habit of dying during the country’s preparation for and during the World Cup. Those who survived still faced abhorrent working and living conditions for meager wages at best and an unfathomable amount of abuse.

The Legacy Fund is nothing new, as there has always been one for the World Cup host countries to receive some, if not all, of the gargantuan revenue generated by FIFA from the World Cup. In general, it has helped develop football in these countries through investment in youth programs and the like. The difference in Qatar was that FIFA adjusted the fund’s objective to include education and a center for work excellence, whatever that is. No mention, of course, of the backs and corpses on which the entire tournament was built.

As you might expect, FIFA paid lip service to all oversight and enforcement rules before and during the tournament in Qatar has eroded since the headlight was removed the country. The Football Association of Norway is pushing ahead with a proposal that meets Amnesty International’s call for FIFA to compensate workers and their families, which is said to be discussed at their conference today. Don’t hold your breath.

Still time to fuck the women!

Speaking of FIFA money, if there’s one thing the organization and Infantino personally are pretty good at, it’s beckoning people in to pat them on the back for minimal accomplishments. Infantino announced this yesterday that the prize pool for this summer’s women’s World Cup will increase to $110 million, but that’s still a quarter of the prize pool for the just-completed men’s version. Infantino claimed that FIFA are now “on their way” to equalize the prize money, but you only have to look under the hood for a second to see what a crap claim that actually is.

Firstly, nothing prevented FIFA from making up the prize money itself. The Qatar tournament grossed $7.5 billion. We know the money is there. And if you look at Infantino’s habit of throwing the blame in all directions but inward, you’ll see what the real game is here.

Up until this tournament, the broadcasting rights and sponsorship of both the Men’s and Women’s World Cups were sold as a package. You bought one, you got both, period. So there was no accounting for what money went where, it just all went into one big pool. Which of course means the money was always there to pay out both tournaments equally. Just not FIFA.

However, this 2023 World Cup is the first Women’s World Cup to be split off, which is why we got it brief flirtation with Saudi Arabia Being a sponsor of a tournament they had nothing to do with. It also allowed Infantino to blowing himself while he spanks others not offering enough for the broadcasting rights and at the same time absolving themselves and FIFA of responsibility. “There’s nothing we can do, they offer that!” Great Britain, where tournament favorites England come from, just made a deal via the BBC and ITV last month, just six months before the start of the tournament. This wasn’t a problem when the rights and sponsorships were bundled until FIFA made it one and splitting them up now sure smacks of abdication and blaming someone else so FIFA can continue to hold on to more money.

But as we’ve learned throughout its existence, there’s no group that doesn’t screw up FIFA and Infantino to make some extra money. FIFA has a hard time letting the Women’s World Cup fall short

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