England’s heroic Lionesses side have vented their frustrations over the FA’s decision not to pay performance-related bonuses ahead of the World Cup. 

Having captured the hearts of the nation during their triumphant European Championships run last year, the denial of bonuses for the Lionesses is a decision that has caused angst amongst the playing squad. 

It’s also been widely criticised by the industry, with Jonas Linné, CEO of Forza Football, describing it as ‘a clear step backwards in the journey to equal pay’. 

Linné told InsiderSport: “The news that the FA won’t be paying the Lionesses bonuses beyond FIFA’s payments, as the US and Australia do to their respective teams, shows a clear step backwards in the journey to equal pay, infrastructure and recognition of the women’s game – all initiatives that the FA has been promoting.”

The Lionesses will kick off their campaign against Haiti on 22 July, venturing out to Australia and New Zealand this week for the tournament. 

Linné added on the decision: “Last year, the FA promised the England men’s team £400,000 to £450,000 per player for winning the World Cup, which is almost double of the £215,000 promised to the women’s team this year, while the Lionesses only received £55,000 each for winning the 2022 European Championships. If the FA can pay the men’s team beyond FIFA bonuses, why aren’t they giving the women’s team the same treatment?

“Players are also barred from participating in sponsorship campaigns by the FA, which obstructs the path to equal pay for female players. Equal pay starts with equal media exposure, visibility and sponsorship opportunities for women’s football. 

“It’s clear from the surge in interest since the 2019 World Cup that the appetite is there, but without proper infrastructure and coverage of the games, these governing bodies will continue to underserve the women’s game for as long as they can get away with. If we can meet the appetite for women’s football with the media coverage it deserves, equal pay for female footballers should follow suit.”

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