According to the global players’ union FIFPro, the COVID-19 outbreak presents women’s football with an “existential threat”.
In a new report labelled, Covid-19: Implications for Professional Women’s Football, the union calls on stakeholders of the game and governing bodies to provide appropriate support for players, clubs and leagues around the world.
“Unless there is a clear commitment to stabilise competitions and provide financial assistance to keep leagues, clubs and players in business, the economic standstill will ultimately result in insolvencies of otherwise profitable and stable clubs across many markets,” FIFPro said.
The report further explains how the current crisis is highlighting the poor conditions women footballers are continually exposed to.
“The lack of written contracts, the short-term duration of employment contracts, the lack of health insurance and medical coverage, and the absence of basic worker protections and worker’s rights leaves many female players — some of whom were already teetering on the margins — at great risk of losing their livelihoods,” it added.
Instability off the pitch is not uncommon for female players in the football industry.
“The majority of players have had experience with previous clubs on the verge of bankruptcy or uncertainty around wages at some point,” it said.
The union wants to focus on measures that support growth and sustainability in its recovery process, but also to use the crisis as an “opportunity to address shortcomings in professional women’s football and establish global labour standards for the working conditions of players.”
FIFPro General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said: “We’re in unprecedented times and we have a responsibility as a global football community to come together and support our industry.
“If clubs, leagues and national team competitions start going out of business, they may be gone forever. Our ultimate goal must be not only to stop this happening but to build a more solid foundation for the future.”