Lucy Bronze, the only player in the England team with over a century of appearances, is gearing up for the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023, which is co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 20 July to 20 August. The championship will be broadcast live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds, and the Sport News Center website & app. Stay updated with the latest news and complete coverage details.
Bronze, an integral part of England’s defence, asserts that the team is “motivated” to elevate standards in women’s football.
Following a statement released by the Lionesses on Tuesday, it’s been announced that discussions regarding performance-related bonuses with the FA will be put on hold until the conclusion of the Women’s World Cup this summer.
While certain nations are offering player bonuses, England, the triumphant side from Euro 2022, currently has no plans to follow suit.
“As a group, this is our first self-initiated communication,” Bronze mentioned, “A collective effort with a united aim. It embodies an empowered player group now and for the past few weeks.”
“We deemed it crucial to demonstrate our focus on the World Cup,” she added.
England captain Millie Bright, who announced the statement on behalf of the squad, expressed disappointment at the lack of resolution so far. The team fully intends to revisit these discussions post the World Cup, underlining their commitment to advance the sport.
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England’s opening Group D match of the tournament is against Haiti on Saturday (10:30 BST), taking place in Australia and New Zealand.
With 105 caps for England, Bronze further explained: “Continuous dialogues are a part of our journey. As a long-time leader, I’ve seen the conversations become more public, spurred not only by us but also by other teams. We find it necessary to use our platform to create positive changes. Even as players, we aim for a brighter future for women’s football.”
‘It’s Not Merely About Numbers – It’s What They Signify’
For the first time, individual payments will be directly disbursed by Fifa to players at a Women’s World Cup. Previously, these funds were given to national football associations for allocation, including player payments.
This year’s Fifa payments range from £23,500 for teams eliminated in the group stages to £211,000 for tournament winners. Additionally, nations will receive an increased prize pool, with the champions receiving £3.4m.
The England team, under the FA, a pioneer in women’s football, feels eclipsed by several competitors, including Australia, the United States, and Spain, who are prepared to reward their squads with bonuses.
“I’m forthright, and like to share my perspective. We have several players like this who uphold our standard,” Bronze stated.
“Our focus hasn’t strayed. We’ve managed the situation adeptly. It’s about advancing the sport, lifting standards higher. The conversation goes beyond mere figures, it’s about their significance.”
Australia’s team has likewise spoken against the gender-based disparity in World Cup prize money and the absence of collective bargaining rights in some nations.
Before clinching their consecutive Women’s World Cup victory in 2019, US players filed a discrimination lawsuit against US Soccer over equal pay, reaching a settlement in 2022.
Forward Alex Morgan shared that the USA enters this tournament in a “different space” due to equality advancements, while other nations continue their fight.
Bronze noted earlier conversations with USA’s Morgan and Spain’s Ballon d’Or recipient Alexia Putellas.
“Our aim is not self-centred. We can establish a standard, something exemplified by the US team. Their World Cup victories were a result, and all teams are taking note,” Bronze stated.
“The World Cup offers a grand stage. It’s when people pay attention, when it truly matters. That’s why so many teams are voicing their opinions. This is often their sole opportunity.
“Teams globally are bolstering each other, pushing the sport forward. This is the largest World Cup ever, and I’m confident it’ll be even bigger in four years, thanks to the changes we’re bringing about.”
‘We’re Confident We’ll Find Solutions’
Despite missing the World Cup due to injury, Euro 2022 captain Leah Williamson is actively participating in these discussions.
Bronze believes they “will find a solution” with the FA and feels “fortunate” to be working with a federation that “aspires to propel the sport forward”, even if it means having tough conversations.
Bronze is adamant that these discussions haven’t detracted from their focus and are all about “finding a mutually beneficial solution for both [players and the FA] to elevate the game”.
“[The FA] supports us, wants to improve the game, and it’s evident in all our endeavours. I’m confident we’ll find solutions and avoid the paths other teams have had to take.
“As European champions, we’ve revolutionised the game in England. We desire outcomes that align with our on-field achievements.
“If we can pioneer for ourselves, we can do so for other nations with less supportive federations. We can empower the entire sport. It’s about the bigger picture.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Women’s World Cup 2023
Who is Lucy Bronze?
Lucy Bronze is a prominent English footballer and a key defender in the England women’s national football team. She is the only player in the squad with over 100 caps.
What did the England women’s football team announce ahead of the Women’s World Cup 2023?
The England women’s football team, also known as the Lionesses, announced that they will pause discussions with the Football Association (FA) regarding performance-related bonuses until after the Women’s World Cup 2023.
Who released the statement on behalf of the England women’s football team?
The statement was released by the England team’s captain, Millie Bright, on behalf of the players.
When and where is the Women’s World Cup 2023 taking place?
The Women’s World Cup 2023 is scheduled to take place from 20th July to 20th August in Australia and New Zealand.
What is the team’s outlook towards the performance-related bonuses discussion?
The team expresses disappointment at the lack of resolution so far but has full intentions of revisiting the discussions after the World Cup. They feel a strong responsibility to grow the sport.
Who are some of the countries that England feels are overshadowing them?
England feels overshadowed by rivals, including Australia, the United States, and Spain, who are ready to provide bonuses to their squad members.
What changes are expected in the payment system for the Women’s World Cup 2023?
For the first time in the history of the Women’s World Cup, players will receive individual payments directly from Fifa. The payments range from £23,500 for teams eliminated in the group stages to £211,000 for tournament winners.