FIFA confirmed that it has decided to triple the prize money on offer at the upcoming Women’s World Cup to be held in France next year. The decision was taken at the eighth meeting of the FIFA Council held on Friday in Kigali, Rwanda.
The FIFA Council approved an overall financial contribution of USD 50 million to the 24 teams playing in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup – more than tripling the amount paid in the 2015 edition (USD 15 million).
This is in addition to the $11.5 million that FIFA has allotted to support the qualified teams in organising preparatory matches before the competition and a pool of $8.5 million as per the Club Benefits Programme to reward clubs releasing players for the competition.
Nevertheless, players union FIFPro released a statement to say that much more needed to be done towards achieving gender equality.
“Despite these changes football remains even further from the goal of equality for all World Cup players regardless of gender,” it said.
“In reality, the changes actually signify an increase in the gap between men's and women's prize money. This regressive trend appears to contravene FIFA's statutory commitment to gender equality.”
In comparison, the prize money for this year's 32-team men's World Cup in Russia was $400 million, a $48 million increase from 2014. That included $38 million going to the winners, France.
Next year's World Cup will be staged in France from June 7 to July 7. The 2015 tournament, won by the United States, was the first women's World Cup to involve 24 teams.
Task Force for Women’s Football
The FIFA Council also approved the Football Stakeholders Committee decision to establish a Task Force for Women’s Football, whose objective will be to identify clear goals for the women’s game and the mechanisms to reach them. The FIFA administration is now assigned with setting up the task force and determining a work plan and a timeline for its activities.
Revisions to international calendar
Following up on the consultation process carried out by the FIFA administration and the relevant committees, the FIFA Council approved CONMEBOL’s request to shift the hosting of the Copa America from odd years to even years, starting with the edition to be played between 12 June and 12 July 2020. Subsequent tournaments will be held every four years, in order to harmonise with the UEFA European Championship.
The Council also approved CAF’s request to move the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) from January/February to June/July 2023;
Lastly, the meeting also saw the approval of the women’s international match calendar, which is now based on a four-year cycle: 2020-2023. The approved calendar includes six international windows per year, with a detailed breakdown of the different types of windows and the conditions that apply to them. The full calendar will be published on FIFA.com over the course of the next few days.
(With inputs from AFP)
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