The Women’s World Cup is getting a 300 per cent increase in prize money for this year’s tournament.
The $150 million fund for the first 32-team tournament is a huge boost from the 24-team edition in 2019, and 10 times what it was in 2015.
Some of that prize money must be dedicated to paying players, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Thursday after being re-elected by acclimation through 2027.
Infantino also again expressed his anger with broadcasters for offering too little for TV rights. He said FIFA will not sell broadcast rights for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand at the prices currently being offered.
“Women deserve much, much more than that and we are there to fight for them and with them,” he said.
Female players worldwide have been fighting for equal pay and equal respect with men’s national teams, including the defending champion United States, Canada, France and Spain.
Infantino set a target of equal prize money for men and women at their next World Cups, in 2026 and 2027, respectively — a tough task when the 32 men’s teams shared $440 million at last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The FIFA president angrily targeted broadcasters, some of them public service channels funded by taxpayers, who he said offered up to 100 times less for rights to the women’s tournament.
Infantino first raised the issue in October in New Zealand and insisted FIFA still would not sell at those prices with women’s soccer drawing audiences perhaps 20-50 per cent less than for men’s games.
“Well, offer us 20 per cent less, 50 per cent less. But not 100 per cent less,” Infantino said in closing remarks to the FIFA Congress. “That’s why we can’t do it.”