Highlights! January 2022 – What a biennial World Cup might mean for women

Highlights!, the monthly newsletter from the Sports Law & Policy Centre, brings to you the latest developments from the Equal Hue Project and recent law and policy updates on women’s sport.

Speaking at a global summit of FIFA member nations, Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, argued for a biennial football World Cup stating that it would result in higher profits than the current quadrennial tournament. A study published by UEFA, which has been hostile to the idea since the beginning, shows that biennial football World Cups will result in the Women’s World Cup losing three times as many viewers as the men’s tournament and the Women’s Euros losing more than half of its revenue. Accordingly, a biennial football World Cup is likely to isolate the women’s game from the mainstream sports landscape, further stifling its growth potential and negatively impacting investors’ interest in it.


In what many would consider as an important step for women’s rugby, the Welsh Rugby Union (“WRU”) has announced its inaugural batch of twelve full-time contracts for professional women athletes. Although the contracts seem to be a step in the right direction, the number of contracts is not sufficient to even field a full rugby union team. In this piece, Keith Parry observes that such contracts offered to women athletes are generally short-term that either cover the duration of the competition or are part-time. The author sheds light on the decades-old discrimination that women’s sports continue to face and the persistent issue of the pay gap that still haunts the world of sport.


This article covers a study led by Durham University in the context of increased visibility of women’s sport in recent years, which showed that more than two-thirds of male football supporters had hostile, sexist or misogynistic views towards women’s sport. The overt group comprising 68% of respondents suggested women shouldn’t participate in sports at all, or, if they did, they should opt for more “feminine” pursuits such as athletics.

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