'It's so far behind' – USWNT star Morgan slams Women's World Cup prize money increase

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Ronald Martinez
While FIFA doubled the amount women will earn from the last tournament, the governing body still awards far more for the men's edition

U.S. women's national team star Alex Morgan has slammed FIFA for an insufficient increase in prize money for the 2019 Women's World Cup.

Football's governing body announced last month that prize money for the 2019 tournament in France would be doubled from the 2015 edition in Canada. 

Tournament winners will earn $4 million (£3.1m), double the amount from 2015, and overall prize money has gone up from $15m to $30m (£23.4m). 

However, the amount female players will earn still pales in comparison to their male counterparts, with $400m (£312m) in total prize money awarded for this year’s men’s World Cup in Russia.

"What they're not realizing is that it's so far behind that a little is not going to receive the sort of applause that they're looking for," Morgan said of FIFA in an interview with SVT Sport.

Morgan and her teammates on the USWNT have been vocal in their support for gender equality over the years, having taken part in a public fight with U.S. Soccer over terms for a new collective bargaining agreement that was signed in 2017.

"I think it became important to all of us on this team going through the last couple contract negotiations with U.S. Soccer," Morgan said. 

"We didn't really understand the power that we held as players. I think it was pretty incredible going through this last contract negotiation realizing the power that we do have if we all stay united together."

USWNT

The 29-year-old also called on more male players to support their female counterparts as they struggle for more equality in the coming years. 

"I think the support from male players is crucial for us," Morgan said. "We have gotten that little by little, but I hope that when it catches on it catches like fire.

"Right now it's difficult to be the one or the two to step out as a male player but then when everyone starts stepping out you don't want to be the one or two that doesn't."

FIFA has been roundly criticized for various gender-related issues in the past, with the 2015 World Cup controversially taking place entirely on fields with artificial turf. 

In 2019, the issue could be video assistant referees, with FIFA yet to confirm whether VAR will be used in France after it was implemented in the men's World Cup this summer. 

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Morgan knows there is still plenty left to fight for, and insists she and her teammates will continue to raise their voices. 

"There are still issues that we want to raise," Morgan said.

"We want to continue to use our voice for important things and I think we have a great amount of players on this team that are willing to step up and speak up for people who don't feel like they have a voice."

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