Mexico official fears losing 2026 World Cup hosting rights over an equal pay bill

Mexico City, Nov 15 (EFE). – The Mexican Senate’s approval of equal pay for women in sports will threaten the existence of the country’s women’s football league and put it at risk of losing hosting rights to the men’s 2026 World Cup, said a top official on Wednesday.

Mariana Gutierrez, director of the women’s MX league, sent a letter to the Senate before the approval of the bill, which now has to be ratified by the Mexican Chamber of Deputies to guarantee the labor rights of athletes and equal pay for all in professional sports.

Gutierrez viewed the proposed law with serious concern, considering the current financial viability of the women’s MX League.

If passed into law, the bill might “compromise” the continuity of the league eventually making the country lose its hosting rights of the 2026 World Cup and hampering its bid for the 2027 Women’s World Cup, she said.

Mexico will host the 2026 men’s World Cup jointly with the United States and Canada and is bidding jointly with the US to host the women’s 2027 World Cup.

FIFA will select the host of the 2027 Women’s World Cup from four bidders during its congress in May 2024.

Senator Rafael Espino announced the approval of the bill on Wednesday despite concerns from football officials.

Espino, a member of the ruling National Regeneration Movement party, said that the bill was approved “unanimously” and was sent to Congress for its corresponding legislative process.

Gutierrez pointed out in her letter that while the Women’s League agreed to reduce the wage gap, the approval of the bill would have financial consequences on it.

As a consequence of the equal salary initiative, the annual cost will rise from 191 million pesos ($11 million) to 273 million pesos, an increase of 43 percent compared to the cost in 2023, she said. EFE


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