Infantino announces big increase in prize money at the Women’s World Cup

The prize money at the forthcoming Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be triple what it was at the last edition in 2019, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced on Thursday, while also announcing that Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Authority is canceling the tournament will not sponsor.

After being re-elected for a third term as President, Infantino told the FIFA Congress in Kigali that the total pot, which would cover prize money, preparation and club compensation, would be $152 million.

That’s up from $50 million in 2019 and just $15 million at the previous tournament in Canada four years earlier.

The Women’s World Cup in July and August will be the first in which 32 teams participate, compared to the 24 teams that took part in the 2019 edition, held in France and won by the United States.

That number still pales in comparison to the $440 million in prize money at the 2022 32-team Men’s World Cup.

Infantino said some channels offered 100 times less to broadcast the women’s competition, despite viewership being “very similar, maybe 20 percent down.”

“FIFA not only speaks with words, but also with deeds. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone in the industry. Broadcasters and sponsors need to do more in this regard,” he said.

“When the broadcasters offer us 100 million for the men’s World Cup, they offer us a million or less for the women’s, and at the same time the same public broadcasters criticize FIFA for not guaranteeing men and women equal pay.

“Offer us 20 percent less or 50 percent less, but not 100 percent less. Women deserve much, much more than that and we are here to fight for them and with them, but we must fight together.”

The announcement of the increase in prize money was welcomed by global players’ union FIFPro, who said in a statement that “the advances announced today demonstrate the intention of players and FIFA to proactively work towards greater equity and equality for the industry.”

– No Saudi deal –

Meanwhile, Infantino said a discussed sponsorship deal with the Saudi Tourism Association for the World Cup would not materialize.

Reports of a potential deal drew criticism from officials at Football Australia and New Zealand Football, who said they were “shocked” and “disappointed” at not being consulted over the Gulf kingdom’s poor record on women’s rights.

“There were talks, but in the end the talks didn’t result in a deal,” Infantino said, calling the outcry “a storm in a teacup.”

“I understand that Australia trades 1.5 billion ($) a year with Saudi Arabia and that doesn’t seem to be a problem,” he added.

“There’s a double standard that I really don’t understand, but there’s no problem, no contract.”

The football associations of Australia and New Zealand welcomed FIFA’s announcement.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion are really important commitments for Football Australia and we will continue to work hard with FIFA to ensure the Women’s World Cup is shaped in that light,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said in a Explanation.

“It is critical for any commercial partnership to be aligned with the vision and values ​​of the tournaments in which they are involved,” said New Zealand Football.

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