BRISBANE, Australia — England have announced they have paused discussions with the Football Association (FA) over tournament bonuses and commercial structures ahead of the Women’s World Cup but are “disappointed” that no resolution has been found.
The discussions between the squad and the FA come off the back of FIFA’s announcement that each player in the Women’s World Cup will receive $36,000 for playing in the group stages of the tournament with bonuses added depending on how far the team progresses.
In previous tournaments, this was not on offer from FIFA meaning some national organisations like the FA paid players an in-house bonus for competing in the tournament.
But with the FIFA contribution this year, the FA will not be paying the players a separate bonus like they have done in tournaments past.
Sources have told ESPN that England‘s players were upset with this development and sought to establish whether these bonuses could be re-introduced for this World Cup.
But on the eve of the tournament, captain Millie Bright posted a statement on behalf of the England squad saying they are “disappointed” no resolution has been achieved but they’ve agreed to pause discussions to focus on the tournament.
“Last year we presented the FA with concerns relating to our bonus and commercial structures,” Bright said.
“The hope was that discussions would lead to a solution before the commencement of our World Cup.
“We are disappointed that a resolution has still not been achieved.
“We view the successful conclusion of these discussions, through player input and a transparent long term plan, as key for the growth of Women’s Football in England.
“With our opening game on the horizon, we Lionesses have decided to pause discussions, with full intentions of revisiting them following the tournament.
“We collectively feel a strong sense of responsibility to grow the game. And while our focus now switches fully to the tournament ahead. We believe every tackle, pass, and goal will contribute to the work we are committed to doing off the pitch.”
Professional Footballers’ Association CEO Maheta Molango supported the Lionesses in a statement on Tuesday.
“Although the issues the Lionesses have highlighted are specific with the FA, they join players from a number of countries at the World Cup who are prepared to make a stand when they don’t think they are being listened to,” Molango said.
“It’s a massive mistake to underestimate the genuine strength of player feeling on these issues.
“It’s no coincidence that this is a particular issue for nations where there is no proper Collective Bargaining Agreement in place between players and governing bodies.”
Other teams at the World Cup have been, or are still, in conflict with their respective governing bodies and coaches.
A number of players in the France team, including captain Wendie Renard, have only recently returned to the squad after refusing to play for previous head coach Corinne Diacre, citing a need to protect their mental health.
Twelve Spain players have made themselves unavailable for selection to the national team because they believe the Spanish FA have not done enough to remedy player complaints regarding the working environment.