Chelsea’s Melanie Leupolz on equal pay debate

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Chelsea midfielder Melanie Leupolz does not believe that female footballers should seek equal pay at this stage of the game’s development, saying she would prefer a focus on improving infrastructure.

The pay gap between the sexes is a widespread topic in almost all industries at present, and women’s football is no different. It is particularly relevant in the United States, where the women’s national team – the most successful women’s national team on the planet with a large number of followers – has struggled to get paid as much as its male counterparts in the USMNT.

While the men’s team did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup, USWNT won the latest women’s version in 2019 and received just £ 3.1 million in prize money from a total of £ 23.4 million in the tournament – about 10% of what France was awarded for lifting the men’s trophy in Russia a year earlier. where the total price fund was £ 312 million.

However, German national team player Leupolz does not believe that equal pay should be a priority for women’s football as it looks, and the 27-year-old says that not enough money is taken in in the first place to justify earning “millions”.

“I do not think that equal pay is appropriate, because you have to see what men take in in the form of money and what women take in,” Leupolz told Goal.

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“Clubs are currently losing out on the women’s team. We must invest now so that women’s football can be self-sufficient and profitable in a few years.

“Equal pay is therefore not appropriate, because with what motivation should I earn millions now? On the weekends I play in front of 3,000 spectators.”

Instead, Chelsea’s midfielder believes it should invest in the infrastructure of the women’s game.

I would rather wish that we train on good training plans, play in nice arenas and that the general conditions are the same, she continued.

This means fewer financial commitments and is easier to implement. It also makes it possible for women’s football to be self-sufficient. Therefore, it is not about salary, but about the conditions around women’s football.

Leupolz also revealed that she played in mixed teams until she was a teenager, when she no longer got it, and believes that playing with the opposite sex helped shape her game.

“I played with the boys until I was 14. Then I switched to a girls’ team at TSV Tettnang because the regional football association no longer gave me special permits,” she added.

“I should have had to play with the older guys, but they said it was too dangerous for girls. That’s why I had to take that step, but it was okay. The girls were really good, we played in the top youth league in Germany.

“The physicality and the fact that you have to make a decision quickly because they are much faster – it definitely shapes you [when playing with males], and you will take that with you later when you come to the Bundesliga. Then the hope is not as great. “

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