We all know that the World Cup is due to kick off in just a few weeks’ time and hope that you are as excited as we are about watching some of this planet’s best soccer players perform on the biggest stage over the following month. Yes, the 32 teams that made the finals really incredible..but what about their female counterparts?
Today we’ll find out as we take an in-depth look at the global game and reveal the 68 countries where the women’s teams really are on top of their male counterparts.
According to the latest FIFA rankings 9 out of the 32 teams that made the finals this year, have a stronger women’s team than the men’s. A surprise example are the hosts themselves, where the men’s team only rank in 63rd position, 37 places beneath the women’s team. In a male-dominated society I can’t imagine that going down particularly well, so full power to the Russian girls!!!
This is true for both the South Korean team (43 positions better than the men) and the Japanese women’s team (44 positions better) nicknamed the Nadeshiko, which is a phrase use to praise the ‘unadorned, clean beauty of a Japanese woman’. It’s fantastic to see how this success in sport empowers the image of women in these countries and puts girls on a more equal foot.
A leading soccer website compared over 100 soccer nations which you can see in the infographic below.
Unfortunately, though, despite all of these successful teams, the playing field is still definitely not level when it comes to gender equality. It’s a crazy fact but only 35% of women who play for their national teams receive any kind of financial reward at all and the average monthly salary for the global female soccer player is as low as $600.
Last year saw the Brazilian women’s team striking on the grounds of being “excluded from the leadership and decision-making for our own team and our own sport” and in the same year the Norwegian Football Association were the first body to officially pay the women’s team equally with the men’s team. So things are definitely improving and getting better since the times of Sepp Blatter asking for female soccer players to “wear tighter shorts and low cut shirts” but there is still a long way to go.
In the US we can be proud to be at the forefront of the development of the women’s game, which can be seen by the fact that we’re still the top ranking women’s team. However, as any good coach will tell you, this doesn’t mean that we can take it easy now. We have to continue to promote participation and interest in our beautiful game. What will you do to promote the women's game?
Contributor: Martin Schulz from SoccerTrainingLab