Fifa president Gianni Infantino jokes about Qatar speech
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Fifa president Gianni Infantino jokes about Qatar speech during Women’s World Cup 2023

When asked about issues such as gender pay disparity during the Women’s World Cup, FIFA president Gianni Infantino says only positive things should be discussed.

Infantino also joked about his extraordinary monologue before the men’s World Cup in Qatar during a news conference in Auckland on the eve of the biggest Women’s World Cup yet.

Infantino said in November: “Today I feel Qatari, Arab, African, gay, disabled, a migrant worker.”

After only arriving in New Zealand on Wednesday, he said he felt tired.

It’s a great moment to be here,” Infantino said.

In case you’re wondering how I’m feeling today… I’m tired because I just landed, but I’m also very happy.”

The tournament begins on Thursday with New Zealand taking on Norway at Eden Park (08:00 BST kick-off), followed by Australia hosting the Women’s World Cup later the same day (11:00).

Women’s soccer issues were discussed with Infantino.

The Australian squad has complained about the gender disparity in World Cup prize money as well as the fact that some nations lack collective bargaining rights.

The eve of the Women’s World Cup opening game is an ideal time to focus on the positives, he said.

You will only hear positive things from me until the 20 August [date of the final]. If someone is still unhappy about something, then I apologize for that.

“As of 21 August, we will focus on other issues around the world. We will handle all the problems that arise, but seriously, we have made important steps.”

Fifa will directly pay players at the Women’s World Cup for the first time. From just over £24,000 per player for the group stage to just over £200,000 per champion, the amounts increase the deeper teams advance.

According to Infantino, it is up to federations to ensure players get the money promised by Fifa.

The associations make the relevant payments to their players through whatever payments we make. But we stay in touch with the associations.”

It was Infantino who had threatened a blackout of European TV if the rights offers did not improve.

Fifa had agreed to broadcast the Women’s World Cup in the UK five weeks before the tournament.

People who still believe women’s football isn’t a great game or not so entertaining or a bad copy of men’s football will be shocked when they watch a women’s game for the first time.

Over the past decade, the level has grown incredibly.

In order to promote women’s football around the world, the main broadcasters should stream at least one hour of the game a week.”