Because although many more pairs of eyes and social clicks were recorded during the eventual completion of the 2020 NWSL season, it has not been the case in other corners of the globe and because of this, FIFPro have voiced some rather genuine concerns.
In a recent survey of 62 nations, the players’ union discovered that just over one in four have not made any provisions for the return of women’s football and with this statistic being recently made public, there is a fear that this section of the beautiful game is being left behind.
Unfortunately, that is not the only troublesome figure to make the headlines and although physical health is of paramount importance to everyone involved in the game, the mental aspect is just as important.
With that said, there has certainly been an element of neglect on this front, even if it is unplanned and with 84% of nations stating that female players have received nothing in the way of support during this crisis, one wonders if a sporting timebomb is soon to explode.
One thing that will place a strain on anyone’s mind is the topic of finances and with inducements of this kind being reduced during the COVID-19 era, 47% of the surveyed nations have seen a decrease in player payments since March.
While it does not stop there, because although the female of the species does not generally earn anywhere near what their male counterparts do, they are at least able to pick up auxiliary benefits such as gym usage or housing.
A benefit in kind which has also been cut back in past half year or so and with 27% of surveyed nations having to carry out measures such as this, it makes this particular career path all the more difficult for any aspiring player.
Then again, by comparison they must be considered the lucky ones, that is if you can call this group lucky at all and with just under a quarter of countries having to either alter or end playing contracts, it only further highlights how bleak the current state of play actually is.
Even if players have been fortunate enough to survive death by a thousand financial cuts, there are still other reasons not to be currently at ease and one of the major gripes to come out of this FIFPro survey, is a lack of communication between federations and those who take to the field.
Of those surveyed, 69% of respondents stated that dialogue regarding employment status and health and wellbeing was either poor or extremely poor and if there’s one thing worse than not getting paid, its being left in the dark regarding your current situation.
Which means, those nations involved within the FIFPro survey, have a lot of making up to do and when you consider that the chasm between male and female football is already too big to start with, these results are only pulling the two entities in further opposite directions.
Which is why the NWSL’s recent upsurge in interest, must not become just a beacon of success on its own and if more league’s and national federations can follow suit, then hopefully the state of the game on a global level can see a positive swing in 2021 and beyond.
Written by Dan Tracey