Home » Switzerland reduces women’s football funding by 73 per cent

Switzerland reduces women’s football funding by 73 per cent

Switzerland reduces women’s football funding by 73 per cent

In a disappointing move, the Swiss Council has decided to cut the funding of the 2025 Women’s European Championship Tournament, the biggest football tournament in Europe, by 73 per cent.

Originally budgeting $15 million francs for the tournament (A$25 million), the Swiss Council has reduced the tournament funding to just $4 million francs (A$6 million). The cuts have been primarily made to promotion, marketing and ticketing support for the tournament, with the Swiss Council citing the need for savings as the reason for reducing funding.

With 16 teams set to participate, some host cities have raised concerns about the “major challenges” they will face running a tournament of this scale with fewer resources.

This news comes after historical ticketing records in women’s soccer around the world. The FIFA Women’s World Cup saw remarkable financial successes, generating almost $900 million and selling out almost every game. Arsenal Football Club’s women’s team, where Matildas’ Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley, Kyra Cooney-Cross and Swiss captain Lia Wälti play, have recorded a higher average attendance than 9 Men’s Premier League Club teams this season.

Arsenal has also twice sold out the 60,000-Seater Emirates stadium this year and are expected to do so again. In Australia, the Matilda’s have had 12 consecutive sell-out crowds. Switzerland has also seen record growth in the women’s game, with the number of professional women’s players skyrocketing in recent years.

The last women’s Euros, held in England in 2022, saw remarkable financial success. The tournament generated $140 million for its eight host cities, and left a similar legacy whereby 2.3 million more women and girls in the country are now participating in football. Members of the Lionesses, the England Women’s National Team, credit the success of the Euro’s Tournament as driving the growth of the women’s game in England.

Scottish captain Rachel Corsie has said that, “for a player who is in the latter stages of their career… and has witnessed and advocated for the growth of the game.. [the decision to reduce funding] is frustrating and heartbreaking.”

In contrast, when Switzerland hosted the men’s Euros back in 2008, when the world was going through an arguably worse financial crisis, they shelled out $82 million to cover the tournament.  

This decision has been met with criticism from football fans, especially as Switzerland secured the right to host after beating out competition from France, Poland, Denmark and Sweden. Many fans are saying that if Switzerland can no longer afford to host the tournament at the amount they bid for, they should no longer be allowed to host. Women’s Football Content Creators Ally Flan and Ella McShane have created an online petition demanding reinstatement of the full funding. Meanwhile, Denmark and Sweden have now put forward a bid to host the 2029 Euros.  

Time and time again, we have examples of how investing in women’s sports yields great dividends for a nation and leaves an impact that spans generations. In an era of the Matildas, the Lionesses, and of a growing audience for female talent, is women’s sport the right area to be making savings in?