French tennis slammed for unequal prize money

30th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 29, 2006 (AFP) - WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott has slammed French Open bosses for their half-hearted approach to equal prize money for men's and women's competitors in the Grand Slam event currently under way at Roland Garros.

PARIS, May 29, 2006 (AFP) - WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott has slammed French Open bosses for their half-hearted approach to equal prize money for men's and women's competitors in the Grand Slam event currently under way at Roland Garros.

Scott branded as unacceptable the French tennis federation's (FFT) decision to reward its men's and women's champions equally with EUR 940,000 each, while not giving equal prize money to all competitors as at the Australian Open and the US Open.

"Both myself and the players do not agree with the French Federation," Scott told AFP.

"It's encouraging for the winners but 127 women players are not defended. It's not right."

Scott was responding to an opinion poll which found that 90 percent of the French public questioned believe that players of both sexes should be rewarded equally.

"Women players offer the public the same quality of play as the men. And the public have shown that they disagree with the decision of the French Federation," he said.

Insisting that this is a first step, FFT president Christian Bimes argued that the women, who play best-of-three-set matches to the men's best-of-five encounters, make more money per game than the men.

But this does not wash with Scott.

"Sport is like a performance, you play for the quality not the quantity," he said. "I agree that it's a good first step but the following steps must be crossed immediately. There is no excuse for waiting. Saying it's a first step is not a good argument."

He added: "We hope that now that the public and our sponsors will show their disapproval by putting pressure on Roland Garros so that next year there will be total equality."

Wimbledon meanwhile remains the only one of the four grand slam events not to pay equal prize money to the men's and women's champions.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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