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Women's Soccer World Cup gets under way in Paris

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on June 7, 2019 - Duration: 01:41s

Women's Soccer World Cup gets under way in Paris

The Women’s World Cup starts on Friday.

FIFA is desperately trying to prove that it takes women’s soccer seriously, faced with discrimination scandals and a huge pay gap compared to male superstars.

Anna Bevan reports.

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Women's Soccer World Cup gets under way in Paris

The Women's Soccer World Cup kicks off in Paris Friday (June 7) and this local girls' team hopes the tournament will encourage more interest in the sport.

Coaches and players at the FF Issy Club say some progress has been made in recent years, But a lot more needs to be done to fight sexism and improve infrastructure.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) FORMER FRENCH PROFESSIONAL WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYER AND PRESIDENT OF ALL-FEMALE SOCCER CLUB FF ISSY, CHRISTINE AUBERE, SAYING: "I played professionally in the mid-80s in the top 'D1' level which was structured differently with a different dynamic and pace.

And before me there were other pioneers.

So, this is good, we're making progress.

I hope this World Cup will bring a new structural and economic momentum and a new visibility to female sports in general and to soccer in particular." Almost two thirds of the 1.3 million World Cup tickets have now been snapped up and several matches have sold out.

Global soccer's governing body FIFA is continuing its strategic efforts to grow the game and show the world it is taking women players seriously.

The sport's been mired in controversy in recent months.

Players from Afghanistan's national team have raised sexual abuse allegations.

And, the U.S. team sued their soccer federation last March for gender discrimination and low pay.

Even the most elite female players make exponentially less than their male superstar counterparts.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) GRAND-FATHER OF AMATEUR FEMALE SOCCER PLAYER AT FF ISSY CLUB, BERNARD POTTIER, SAYING: "I always played soccer as a boy, but for a girl I didn't even imagine it could exist.

And when I see the girls here, playing I feel good there on the terraces supporting them.

I think 'well done girls!

Bravo, it's very good'".

FIFA hopes that more than one billion viewers will tune in to the tournament and the women's game will take a huge step forward.

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