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What's what with the Women's World Cup

Megan Rapinoe of the USA lifts the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy following her team's victory in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France.
Megan Rapinoe of the USA lifts the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy following her team's victory in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match between The United States of America and The Netherlands at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France.

This year’s Women’s World Cup is one of firsts. It’s the first timea game will be hosted in the Asia Pacific region by two countries, New Zealand and Australia. 

It’s the first time 32 nations will compete, making it the largest tournament in the cup’s history. 

The U.S. women’s national team has its eye on another first: taking home the title three years in a row. It’s a feat that’s never been done by any international soccer team. And for a team that’s gone through major changes, it might be a long shot. 

The World Cup has raised the profile of women’s soccer, but it’s not all fun and games. The average global annual salary for professional female players is $14,000.

This year’s prize money has been raised to $110million from $30 million in 2019. But it’s still well below the $440 million awarded at the men’s World Cup last year. 

Equal pay is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the disparities facing female players. More than 30 years after its founding, is the Women’s World Cup finally ready to champion not just the game, but the people who play it? 

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Haili Blassingame