Soccer is, without a doubt, the most popular sport on the planet. Some regions may be into cricket, while others favor basketball or hockey, but soccer is followed by half of the world. Normally, men’s sports have more viewers and generate more profit than their women’s counterparts. Is this the case with soccer as well?
UEFA and Others
We can see from the UEFA report, released in 2017, that the number of professional athletes has been on the rise for the last several years. There are now several countries, including England, Germany, and France, that have more than 100 000 players. The number of younger female athletes has increased by around 50% since 2013. UEFA has even agreed to add an interesting sum of 50 000 euro to each soccer federation in order for the sport to expand.
UEFA is not the only organization that supports women’s soccer. The sponsor of the #WhatIf campaign is Betfair and Synergy is the supporter with several pro bono campaigns that have the goal of promoting soccer for women. Betfair also launched #FairerGame as an initiative that deals with disadvantages of women’s soccer organizations and leagues not faced by their male counterparts.
FIFA released a survey in back in 2014 regarding the number of women associated with soccer one way or the other. This included coaches, managers, referees, and, of course, players. The report claims that the biggest number of female soccer players comes from the US and Canada. The report also indicated that the governments are more likely to invest their funds into women’s soccer than private sponsors and that the total number of female coaches accounted for 6.7% of the total number of soccer coaches. Female referees stick mostly to US and Canada.
We expect a lot from the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. The numbers and predictions indicate that this will be the women’s sporting event with the highest number of spectators in history. This is due to the fact that the US accounts for a lot of the buzz women’s soccer has been getting. While soccer is not the favorite sport among Americans in general, the previous Women’s World Cup, where the United States faced and defeated Japan, was the most-watched soccer event in the US history, beating the number of American spectators for men’s World Cup 2014 by 5 million.
The number of people interested in women’s soccer is growing each year. There are more and more sponsors, campaigns, and FIFA and UEFA staff that are working tirelessly to bring the action the worldwide recognition it deserves. On the world stage, it is still lagging behind the men’s soccer, but it is certainly number 1 on the North American continent.