Fifa boss Infantino hits out at European offers to broadcast women’s World Cup


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Football’s most powerful administrator Gianni Infantino has threatened to impose a TV blackout on French screens after lashing out at the cash offers from top European broadcasters to show the women’s World Cup next summer.

“To be very clear, it is our moral and legal obligation not to undersell the Fifa women’s World Cup,” Infantino insisted at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva.

Infantino said broadcasters from the so-called ‘Big 5’ countries – France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Britain – had offered between one and 10 million euros for the rights to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

For the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar, broadcasters paid around 200 million euros for the broadcasting rights to the men’s event.

It is the latest broadside in a push for cash from the body which organises World Cups and administers the sport worldwide.

Complaint

In October, just before the start of the men’s World Cup in Qatar, Infantino criticised broadcasters who he said had offered 100 times less to screen the women’s World Cup compared to the men’s tournament.

“Should the offers continue not to be fair, we will be forced not to broadcast the Fifa women’s World Cup into the ‘Big 5’ European countries,” Infantino added.

Infantino, who came to power as Fifa boss in February 2016, said the offers from broadcasters were a slap in the face of the players who will compete at the event between 20 July and 20 August as well as women worldwide.

Because of the time difference, World Cup matches will not take place during prime-time hours in Europe but Infantino said that was no excuse to make low offers.

“Maybe, because it is in Australia and New Zealand, it’s not played on prime time in Europe, but still, it is played at 9am or 10am, so it is quite a reasonable time,” he said.

Just over 1.1 billion viewers tuned into the 2019 women’s World Cup in France across all platforms, according to a FIFA audit of the tournament.

“This shows the magnitude of this event,” Infantino added. “The next World Cup will be even bigger than that, with 2 billion viewers.”


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