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Lionel Messi's $84m earnings used by the United Nations to highlight gender pay disparity

  • The Barcelona talisman earns a staggering amount of money in comparison to thousands of women footballers.
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 23:35 IST

Sevilla FC v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Sevilla FC v FC Barcelona - La Liga

What's the story?

The annual earnings of Barcelona captain Lionel Messi have been used by the United Nations to emphasise the disparity in the pay gap between male and female footballers.

In case you didn't know

Gender pay disparity has been at the forefront in the Women's World Cup currently being held in France, with 28 players of the US women's national team currently in the midst of a lawsuit with US Soccer over the massive gap in wages.

Led by the likes of Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Becky Sauerbrunn, the USWNT players are calling for an end to discriminatory practices within the US football governing body when it comes to wages.

A mediation hearing is scheduled to be held after the World Cup as the organisation continues to deny the allegations against them. 

2018 Ballon d'Or Féminin winner Ada Hergerberg, who stopped playing for the Norwegian national team two years ago, is also not taking part in the tournament in keeping with her protest against gender discrimination in sports.

The Lyon striker believes her protest goes beyond the wage differences between the two sexes and highlights the inequality in support, media coverage and working conditions in women's football.

The heart of the matter

UN Women have taken to their Facebook page to highlight just how massive the wage gap is between men and women in football.

The organisation used a chart to show that Messi's US$84 million-a-year income is nearly double the combined annual wage ($42.6m) of 1,693 players in the top seven leagues of women's football.

The post is accompanied by a caption that reads, "One male soccer player makes almost double the combined salaries of all players in the top seven women's soccer leagues. During the Women's World Cup 2019, join UN Women in demanding equal pay for women in sport."


What's next?

The World Cup will see USWNT face hosts France in the quarter-finals of the tournament on June 28.

Published 25 Jun 2019, 14:11 IST
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