According to a new survey by the game’s governing body, income for women’s football worldwide is growing from sponsorship, broadcasting and merchandising, as well as increased interest from fans.

FIFA released its second comparative report on women’s football on Friday as the sport gathers momentum ahead of next summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The organization surveyed 30 major leagues and 294 clubs, building on the first comparative report published last year.

While the club’s revenue was affected by COVID-19 in the previous report, the latest survey showed growth across the board from matchday, broadcast, commercial and prize sources. Clubs reported a 33% year-on-year increase in commercial revenue, indicating increased interest from sponsors. It found that 77% of leagues had a title sponsor, up from 11% in 2021.

Broadcast revenues grew by 22% year-on-year. Ten leagues reported broadcast revenue, up from nine in the previous survey.

But there is also room for growth. The report shows that only 7% of clubs worldwide reported revenues of more than $1 million from matches, broadcasts, advertising and prize money.

Sarai Borreman, FIFA’s chief director of women’s football, said the report highlighted that women’s football was a smart investment.

“Changes are evident in the second edition of the report. We know it, we feel it,” she said. “For me, it’s just about getting those people involved, especially at the highest levels of our game around the world, to see and understand the opportunities that are in front of them. Facts and data are often the things that appeal to these people. … This is no longer anecdotal. It’s here on paper.”

The structural growth of women’s football was accompanied by unprecedented interest in the game. A friendly between the USA and England at Wembley drew nearly 78,000 fans and was sold out within 24 hours.

The recent African Women’s Cup of Nations had 50,000 on hand for the final between Morocco and South Africa, and 91,000 fans were at the Camp Nou for the UEFA Champions League quarter-final.

“Women’s soccer is on a growth trajectory unlike any other sport in this world. This is the biggest opportunity for growth that FIFA as an organization has today, but more importantly that our sport, football, has today. This is the biggest opportunity for growth. And you don’t have to look too far back to see the numbers for that growth,” Berman said.

The upcoming Women’s World Cup reflects the growth of the game with an expanded field of 32 teams compared to 24 in the last two tournaments. This paved the way for early entrants including Morocco, the Philippines, Ireland, Vietnam and Zambia.

But the FIFA poll also comes at a turbulent time for the game. In the United States, a recent investigation revealed systemic abuse and misconduct in the National Women’s Soccer League, the nation’s highest level of sports.

US Soccer ordered the investigation after firing North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley last year after two former players accused him of harassment and sexual assault in a story by The Athletic last fall. Five of the 10 coaches in the NWSL last season were fired or resigned due to misconduct.

FIFA has a safeguarding program that was implemented at the U20 Girls’ World Cup in Costa Rica this summer. The program aims to protect members and fans from violence, exploitation and harassment.

The 32 games of the tournament were staffed by security officials, as well as a representative from the National Children’s Institute of Costa Rica. Participants were informed about abuse and how to report it.

The guarding program is part of the FIFA Guardians initiative announced after the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup to ensure player safety. It was developed in collaboration with UNICEF, the UN agency for children.

It will be in place for the senior world championships next summer.