Can I get a sponsor in Sweden

Report of discriminationSweden's football association in need of explanation

"The women's national team has achieved more success than the men, but has to be content with crumbs when it comes to the bonuses." This is what Nina Rung and her husband Peter write in the "Expressen" newspaper. The criminologist and the equality strategist, as he calls himself, jointly run an organization against violence in relationships.

You have reported the Swedish Football Association to the state ombudsman for equality. The exact sums that the association hands out are secret. But for years everything has indicated that men earn significantly more, although women are even more successful.

Wage discrimination prohibited by law

"If the men get more money, then it contradicts the Swedish law. It says that you can't pay less because of gender," says Nina Rung.

Wage discrimination has been illegal in Sweden since 1979. What is particularly spicy is where the money comes from, which is supposedly distributed so unevenly:

"A very large part of the money comes from state pots. The lottery company 'Svenska Spel' is the largest main sponsor. This is a Swedish state company. Money also comes from the Swedish Sports Confederation, which is also a state authority. It is strange that one cannot understand how these funds are distributed. "

Nina Rung expects the ombudsman for equality to carry out a detailed investigation.

"You should take care of the wage differentials, if there are any - which I assume. And I hope the Swedish Football Association has to disclose its figures - and why they look the way they look."

Nina Rung also hopes that the government will urge the state lottery and the Swedish Sports Confederation to distribute the money equally.

"We have gender equality goals in Sweden. It's strange that you don't control the sport and let yourself rule."

Nilla Fischer stands up for equality and against discrimination (imago / Michael Erichsen)

Rung appeals to Minister of Sport Amanda Lind, Minister of Equality Åsa Lindhagen and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. After Sweden's third place at the World Cup, he had announced that he would support FIFA for more resources for women's football.

"Have you or another person been disadvantaged or injured in their dignity? Then it could be discrimination within the meaning of the Anti-Discrimination Act. You should definitely report such an incident to DO, the ombudsman for equality," says a trailer.

Ombudsman examines the investigation

The ombudsman for gender equality told Deutschlandfunk that it was now checking whether an investigation would be initiated against the Swedish Football Association. Only then will it be considered more closely whether the association is acting in accordance with the discrimination laws. This decision is expected to be made in the course of the summer. In general, the ombudsman can file a complaint in cases of fundamental importance.

A spokesman for the Swedish Football Association assured the Swedish news agency TT that they had fair and equal agreements with the women's and men's national teams. According to the association, they are not discriminatory. The association did not disclose exact sums and did not respond to Deutschlandfunk inquiries until the editorial deadline.

Pia Sundhage is different. The Swede, who coached both the Swedish and US women's national football teams, is one of the champions for equality in football.

"You should also think about how important women’s football is in society, not just for the individual club, or how many kronor or ore can be earned with it. When it comes to the national team, it's different I don't know why there is a difference at all. "

Megan Rapinoe has shown how women's football can get involved in social debates. (Getty Images / Robert Cianflone)

Sundhage praises players like the US captain Megan Rapinoe or the Swedish national player Nilla Fischer, who have long campaigned for equality, for tolerance and against discrimination. However, Sundhage also says:

"If women's football is always taking the chance to raise important issues in society instead of talking about the defense game, it can create a skewed picture. It would be nice if the male players also talked about equality. That would have a double effect . "

The situation is better today than it used to be and could get even better, says Sweden's former national coach Sundhage. And one thing is certain: when full equality is achieved, everyone is a winner - women and men.