As the World Cup has vividly shown, women’s football is growing in popularity and status with increasing participation, professionalisation and media attention across the world. But, in our recent investigation into the women’s game, we find it is still fighting for a stable footing.
We surveyed 3,000 players in 33 different countries, of whom 60% categorised themselves as professional. What we found was that a professional football career for women is hard to sustain in the face of low pay, a lack of contractual support, and commitments away from the pitch. There is a need for significant change to the way women footballers are supported to play for club and country alike.