The FIFA Women’s World Cup has commenced in France, but while the action continues to provide intrigue on the pitch from Paris to Montpellier, discussion is increasing around issues impacting the players competing at the tournament off the pitch.

Central to the issues pertaining to female footballers is equality. Discussion in particular around equal pay for female footballers has been a constant feature within dialogue in the media, and from players and fans.

In the lead up to kick off, the PFA launched ‘Our Goal is Now’, a campaign driven by the Matildas players designed to highlight the gap between prize money for the men’s edition of the World Cup and the women’s tournament.

The legal, economic and moral basis for the campaign is clearly articulated at – but in summary the campaign aims to address the gender gap – which stands at US$370m – with the campaign urging FIFA reconsider its investment in women’s football, considering it has nearly US$3billion in reserves.

Here’s a nifty explainer video that outlines the campaign, while the video embedded above demonstrates that investment from FIFA in women’s football will not only benefit the players directly, but will deliver a significant stimulus package to women’s football across the globe.

Players, media and fans have continued to raise the issue of the significant gender gap between men’s and women’s prize money.

As part of the launch, Matildas players drove support of the campaign on social media. That has since extended to the likes of New Zealand and then more broadly has been picked up by media and fans.

PFA CEO John Didulica last week labelled FIFA’s increase in women’s World Cup prize money – from US$15m to US$30m for this year’s tournament – as “manifestly inadequate and a total missed opportunity [that] in fact worsened the divide [between the men and the women]”.

Didulica also debunked the popular but flawed argument that the men’s World Cup brings in more revenue on Fox Sports (you can watch the full clip below).

“The obvious reaction to [the pay disparity] is that is all based on commercial metrics, but that’s not how FIFA have been calculating the amounts of prize money. For the most part, it’s an opaque political process where an arbitrary figure is allocated to the tournament. What we’re after is greater transparency, greater accountability and for FIFA to use the opportunity to genuinely invest in women’s football.”

Didulica also appeared on Channel 10’s The Project, alongside Craig Foster and former Matilda Tal Karp.

Sporting Intelligence‘s Nick Harris, who explores the relationship between sport and money, tweeted a thread to echo the campaign’s sentiments about the opportunity FIFA has with its “massive resources” to make a “massive statement” on female football and gender equality.

The New York Times’ Rory Smith takes a look at FIFA and UEFA’s approach to the Women’s World Cup in France.

American goalkeeper and US Women’s National Team record-holder Hope Solo, took to Twitter to defend Ada Hegerberg’s decision to not play for Norway at this year’s tournament.

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