Sarai Bareman: Fifa set for higher level Women's World Cup in France

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With just over a week to the global showpiece, the football governing body is set for a historic marker with this tournament

Fifa chief women's football officer Sarai Bareman has stated that the 2019 Women's World Cup offers a chance to prove its commitment to the growth of the game around the globe.

The world's governing body is hoping to make a big impression in France. At Canada 2015, the participating teams were forced to share hotels, training facilities and had no access to grants or club benefits.

This time, Fifa seeks a record number of viewers, huge fan attendance, better players' welfare in addition to first-ever preparation grants, increased prize money and extra cash for clubs.

"For this year's Women's World Cup, Fifa has introduced new elements, preparation money for the teams that have qualified which have not existed before for the women's game and also a club-benefit-program," Bareman told Goal.

"So, the clubs that have been developing our players and releasing them to play at the World Cup, they will also receive benefits for the work they've done developing those players.

"These are all new elements and I think they are a good indication of the investments and prioritisation that Fifa is giving the women's game.

"I understand the argument that when you compare to the men's game, it's very difficult...But I think it's important to look at the bigger picture at the same time.

"If you look at the history of the World Cup, the first men's World Cup was in 1930 in Uruguay and it's wasn't until 61 years later in 1991 that the Women's World Cup came about. In 2007, it was the first time that Fifa introduced prize money into the Women's World Cup."

According to Bareman, the new initiatives introduced by Fifa are indications of the investments and prioritisation it's giving to the women's game in a bid to close the gap. 

"It's also about improving the condition of the players, so this summer in France, you will see for the first time that the team are staying in individual hotels which have never been the case before when they used to share hotels among up to three teams," she continued.

"We will have the players flown on business class and there will be individual training pitches for the teams. The conditions are constantly rising and we will keep pushing to where we believe they deserve to be.

"At this top end, there are a handful of countries where we have professional women's football where our athletes are playing and are being paid and at the other end of the scale, we still have some countries where their girls are still not allowed to step on the pitch.

"It very important that we monitor really closely the landscape. We saw for the first time in 2018 that we were able to track the international transfer matching system for the women.

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"That gave us for the first time the possibility to see where the players are moving to and how much they were moving for and either in or out of a contract.

"The task force is basically using those data and all that information to look at how we can accelerate the growth of the women's game and at the same time to protect it."

Before the tournament gets underway, the first-ever Global Women's Football Convention will be held on June 6 and 7 in Paris.

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