: As World Cup kicks off, women’s soccer ‘poised for exponential growth’ says U.S. Soccer chief

by | Jul 20, 2023 | Stock Market

Women’s soccer is firmly in the spotlight after the Women’s World Cup kicked off in host nations Australia and New Zealand on Thursday. New Zealand pulled off a shock victory over Norway in their opening game in Auckland, registering their first win in a Women’s or Men’s World Cup. Australia then kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win over Ireland in Sydney.

The U.S. team enters the tournament as favorites, and are chasing a record third consecutive World Cup victory. This year’s competition has been expanded to 32 teams and 64 matches, up from 24 teams and 52 matches in the 2019 tournament in France. Recent years have seen major changes in women’s soccer, both on and off the field. Last year the U.S. women’s national team won their long fight for equal pay with the men’s national team, a major milestone for the sport. Related: Women’s World Cup kicks off as New Zealand stuns Norway Speaking on MarketWatch’s Best New Ideas in Money podcast, U.S. Soccer Federation President Cindy Parlow Cone explained that other national teams are following America’s lead. “I think we’re starting to see it more and the impact on a number of other federations,” she said. “They’re taking steps to obtain equal pay or move towards it.” The Canadian women’s national team, winners of the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, has been embroiled in a fight for pay equity with Canada Soccer. And just days before the Women’s World Cup kicked off in New Zealand and Australia, the Australian women’s team called out soccer’s global governing body FIFA over prize money inequity compared with the Men’s World Cup.  In March, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced that $110 million of basic prize money will be awarded at the Women’s World Cup, up from $30 million for the 2019 tournament. For this year’s tournament, FIFA is also providing $31 milli …

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