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Sports Minister calls for equal prize money in the FA Cups

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew says there is an "opportunity to level the playing field" by making FA Cup prize money the same for men and women.

According to the Football Association website, the winning women's club receives £100,000 while the men's winners get £2m.

Andrew told MPs on Wednesday that "progress has begun" on equality in the game, but more needs to be done.

The FA said the Women's FA Cup prize fund was up nearly tenfold this season.

Andrew said: "England men's and women's senior players have been paid the same match fee for representing their country since January 2020.

"Professional footballers in England will now benefit from a level of maternity and long-term sickness cover in recent changes to their contract, but clearly challenges remain.

"Last year UEFA doubled the women's Euros prize money but this is frankly still a fraction of what the men get.

"In January last year it was announced the FA would increase prize money for the winners of the women's FA Cup from this season. However, there is still some way to go to get to the equal prize money of the men's FA Cup."

Andrew said prize money needed to reflect the growing popularity of the women's game.

Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on women's football talent pathways and player wellbeing, he added: "While historically women's sport has not had the profile or media coverage that the men's sport has achieved over the years, this is clearly now changing.

"Attendances and viewing figures for the women's sport are growing at an extraordinary rate and there is an opportunity, I think, to level the playing field when it comes to prize money."

An FA spokesperson said: "We have a clear plan for women's football which has generated record attendances at matches, ground-breaking new broadcast deals, increased commercial sponsorship, and unprecedented levels of investment.

"This season, the Vitality Women's FA Cup prize fund received a significant uplift to £3m per year, almost a tenfold increase on the previous season.

"We want to keep improving and growing the game, so that it will continue to develop and thrive for years to come."

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