FIFA president: Women soccer players need to ‘convince men,' 'pick right battles' in order to gain equality

Gianni Infantino is the perfect, stupid symbol of everything women have to face in sports

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Gianni Infantino watching Australia and England
Gianni Infantino watching Australia and England
Photo: Mark Baker (AP)

The 2023 Women’s World Cup hasn’t resonated stateside like it typically does. The USWNT never looked good, weren’t healthy, and were heavily criticized by people eagerly awaiting a stumble. Considering that, coupled with the time difference in Australia and New Zealand, one could suppose that a lack of US eyeballs, and subsequently dollars, would negatively affect the bottom line.

Presumptuous American bias aside, this tournament is on track for $570 million in revenue, enough to break even, according to FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“Actually, this World Cup generated over $570 million US. In revenues. And so, we broke even,” Infantino said. “We didn’t lose any money, and we generated the second-highest income of any sport, of course, besides the Men’s World Cup at global stage. More than half a billion. There are not many competitions, even in men’s football, that generate more than half a billion.”


If that’s the case, then why are players in the WWC making 25 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn? Don’t focus on the break-even part of the quote — I have serious questions about how any sporting event, including the Olympics, requires mind-numbing levels of spending — but rather the last sentence.

“There are not many competitions, even in men’s football, that generate more than half a billion.”


If the Women’s World Cup can pull in half a billion, why on Earth would Infantino say, during the same new conference mind you, that women have to “convince us, men, what we have to do”?

I’ll give you the full quote because it’s arguably worse with full context.

“I say to all the women – and you know I have four daughters, so I have a few at home – I say to all the women that you have the power to change,” Infantino said. “Pick the right battles, pick the right fights. You have the power to change.

“You have the power to convince us, men, what we have to do and what we don’t have to do. You do it, just do it. With me, with FIFA, you will find open doors. Just push the doors, they are open.

“And, do it also at national level in every country, at continental level, in every confederation. Just keep pushing, keep the momentum [going], keep dreaming, and let’s really go for full equality.”

Someone clearly hasn’t seen Barbie yet. Pick the right battles? Just push the doors, they are open? I have four daughters? Sure, buddy, and every one of them just buried their heads in their hands.

The word of the day is ‘Potential’

Please, no one help Gianni. Let him figure this one out on his own, because you shouldn’t have to be convinced to empower a group that you’re marginalizing. It should be as easy to remedy as it is to identify. This is fifth-grade civics class stuff. Oftentimes, the door (like the sexism) is open, but the people inside still have to extend the invitation.


Infantino and FIFA are only swayed by one thing: Money. However, the giant infant unraveled his own argument when he spoke of the $570 million in revenue. I don’t understand, and it’s probably because I’m a guy, why they can’t see the potential for growth here?

FIFA is so hard up for cash that it’s looking at making the men’s World Cup biennial. You already have a second World Cup, and maybe if you found a better way to utilize the $500 million it took to put on this tournament, it would grow to be the cash cow that is the men’s Cup.


Just the language used by Infantino should disqualify him from office. “Convince us, the men” — and not FIFA — makes this even more of a gender issue than it already is. So you’re saying the women employees at FIFA (if they exist) are ready for equality, but you’re not listening to them either?

Every time Infantino opens his mouth, a toxic stream of rationalizing garbage follows. He’s a colossal moron, who needs to be constantly convinced that he can do his job and also the right thing.


Norway and Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg’s response to Infantino’s remarks was perfect in message, and level of condescension.


Not sure how my PowerPoint game is these days, but if you need someone to berate Gianni Infantino with foul language and common sense, let me know.