FIFA: Female players 29% more likely to receive online abuse

In a press release issued on Monday 11 December, FIFA and FIFPRO shared the findings of their report into the activities of their Social Media Protection Service at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

The report analysed 5.1m posts and comments, searching for abusive content in 35 languages across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and X – formerly known as Twitter. The social media channels of 697 players, 29 match officials and the 32 participating nations were monitored as part of the report.

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The report found that 152 – or one in five – players at the tournament received ‘targeted discriminatory, abusive or threatening’ messages over the course of the tournament, with homophobic, sexist and sexual comments accounting for almost 50% of the detected abuse.

The findings indicate that players at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 are 29% more likely to be targeted with online abuse, when compared to male players at the FIFA World Cup 2022 – held in Qatar last year.

FIFA’s statement indicates that they shared ‘relevant information with FIFA Member Associations and law enforcement agencies to ensure there is no hiding place in the real world for those who are abusive in the virtual one.’