Television deals for the FIFA Women's World Cup are yet to be struck in major European countries ©Getty Images

The Sports Ministers of five European countries have written a joint statement to urge FIFA and broadcasters to avoid a television blackout of this year's Women's World Cup.

Australia and New Zealand are due to co-host the tournament in fewer than 50 days but no TV deals are in place in footballing powerhouses Italy, Germany, France, Spain and the UK.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has slammed previous offers as being too low and a "slap in the face" to players and "all women worldwide".

He said European broadcasters had only bid between $1 million (£727,000/€928,000) and $10 million (£8 million/€9 million) - compared to between $100 million (£79 million/€92 million) and $200 million (£159 million/€185 million) for the men's World Cup.

The rights for the women's tournament were previously bundled together with other events but FIFA has now separated the process.

Some European broadcasters have pointed to unfavourable kick-off times in Australian and New Zealand time-zones but Infantino pointed to FIFA trebling prize money for the event.

"We, as Sports Ministers of European countries whose women's national football teams have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand, from July 20 to August 20, have acknowledged with concern that until now, no television rights have been attributed for the matches broadcasting in our countries," the statement from the Sports Ministers says.

"We are aware of the legitimate interests and budgetary constraints pressuring both assignees and independent broadcasters, who need a viable economic model for each of them. 

Women's football is growing in popularity but FIFA and broadcasters are divided on their valuations of the World Cup ©Getty Images
Women's football is growing in popularity but FIFA and broadcasters are divided on their valuations of the World Cup ©Getty Images

"We also recognise the specific organisational constraints that are likely to affect the market value of the European broadcasters' rights (period and hours of broadcasting).

"However, we are convinced that the media coverage of the Women’s World Cup will be decisive in improving the global visibility of women's sports in our European countries. 

"Media exposure to women's sports has indeed a highly significant impact on the development of women's and young girls' sports practices.

"Because of the high potential of the FIFA Women's World Cup and the sport and social issues at stake, we consider it our responsibility to fully mobilise all stakeholders, for them to quickly reach an agreement. 

"These are decisions for FIFA and broadcasters to take independently, but we know that discussions are in progress and we are confident in FIFA and independent broadcasters' capability to find a common path toward fair development of the FIFA Women's World Cup." 

FIFA does potentially have the option of its FIFA+ streaming service, in the event of any blackout.

"We continue to seek a fair deal for the remaining media rights for the tournament in line with the growth of the women's game," Infantino said.