As Les Bleues launch their Euro 2022, visualize the gap in inequality between female and male footballers

There is unanimous agreement: whether in terms of audiences or attendance at pitches and stadiums, women’s football has been breaking records in France for the past ten years. If the gap has narrowed with their male counterparts on many parameters, the gap still remains significant. While the Blues face Italy this Sunday for their entry into the running in Euro-2022 in England, “the Obs” explores, in computer graphics, the different layers of this inequality which persists.

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More women in the field

If we are to believe the figures of the French Football Federation (FFF), female footballers are taking their ease in this traditionally male environment. They were less than 60,000 licensees ten years ago, today they are 100,000 more on the ground – and this despite the setbacks of the health crisis.

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Number of female football players

Out of 1.9 million licenses attached to the French Football Federation, only 10% are now held by women.

Record audiences

In 2019, television audiences for the Women’s World Cup crossed the billion mark according to Fifa, all broadcasts combined. Encouraging figures, which now represent almost a third of audiences for the men’s World Cup, against less than a quarter four years earlier. A trend that does not seem to be reversing: the opening match of Euro 2022 on Wednesday July 6 brought together more than 800,000 viewers in France.

Salaries: relative progress…

Despite obvious progress, all is not rosy for the nearly 160,000 practitioners. In the women’s professional championship (D1), which has 12 clubs, the average salary does not exceed 3,500 euros net in 2021 – far from the 100,000 euros practiced in the men’s Ligue 1.

Average salary for football player and player in France

In France, half of the players in the first division benefit from a part-time contract and are forced to supplement their precarious salary with another professional activity. A mental and physical burden that forces many players to leave the field permanently.

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France’s highest paid player is no exception. Wendie Renard, defender of Olympique Lyonnais, receives around 37,000 euros gross monthly – a pretty penny, but light years away from the 4 million received each month by Neymar at PSG.

Salary of the two highest in French football

An inequality that is above all an inequality of budget. The envelope of bonuses that Fifa distributes to female players has certainly increased, but remains approximately seven times lower than that distributed to male players.

… which do not only affect female players

The inequalities are all the more striking for managerial positions. In France, only three women hold the Professional Football Coaching Certificate (BEPF), which allows them to coach professional players, or a national team. Among the three elected is the current coach of the Blue: Corinne Deacon.

Percentage of female BEPF holders in France

The same is true for referees. Of the 105 referees who will take part in the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year, 6 are women. Among them is the French Stéphanie Frappart, the first Frenchwoman to have refereed a men’s professional match.

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Share of female referees for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

So many figures that continue to make women’s football, even as the spotlight shines more and more on it, a real profession-passion for the vast majority of practitioners and coaching staff.

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