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COMMENT: FIFA [MENS] Global Competitive Balance Report

equitysport welcomes the publication of the new FIFA [MENS] Global Competitive Balance Report yesterday.

This transparent and in-depth analysis is a welcome assessment of how the sport of (men’s) football is currently structured around the world. We look forward to member associations, and indeed FIFA themselves continuing to support this analysis with a robust plan of action as part of the wider 2020-23 vision.

We fully support the statement by FIFA President Gianni Infantino that “for too long, men’s international and club football have been dominated by a handful of established powers from Europe and South America” and endorse the ongoing commitment to provide additional stimulus to regions where competition balance is skewed or lagging behind.

equitysport remains encouraged by FIFA’s ambitious ‘The Vision 2020-23: Making Football Truly Global’ and welcomes attempts to challenge traditional football hegemony over the coming years. As part of those commitments, we implore FIFA to commit further to tethering the development of the global game to wider equality, diversity and equal opportunity objectives, not least in the realisation of gender parity in the sport.

The women’s game remains underdeveloped around the world, with vast gaps in provision outside of pockets of expedited growth in Western Europe, North America and Australasia - it would be a welcome signal if when mapping global competitive balance, the mens and womens game were not treated as mutually exclusive entities by FIFA and were analysed alongside one another.

Tim Harper, Founder and Chief Executive at equitysport added:

“This is a fascinating and detailed report that will take some time to fully digest. However, it seems, at least on the surface, that the commitment to grow the global game in the world’s biggest sport is beginning to transition from neat slogan to real action - and that should be celebrated.

That being said, we are concerned that in putting this report together, FIFA remains determined to treat the men’s and women’s game as entirely separate entities. It’s time for FIFA to acknowledge that the men’s game does not exist and cannot continue to develop in a vacuum.

We look forward to plotting the competitive balance of the women’s game against the findings of this weeks report when the equivalent report is released by FIFA for the women’s game in due course; which we're confident will be forthcoming.”

The full FIFA report can be read HERE.


equitysport is a UK-registered charity (1189559) that exists to promote and advance equality, diversity and equal opportunity in and through global sport. Through free-form development, education programmes and targeted advocacy the charity seeks an inclusive and equitable sporting ecosystem that lives up to the true values of sport.

Notes to Editors

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