While the Women’s World Cup prize money is now three times the 2019 figure and 10 times more than in 2015, prior to when Infantino became FIFA president, it is still considerably lower than the $440 million total prize money awarded at the men’s World Cup in Qatar last year.
Infantino made the prize money announcement in his closing remarks at the FIFA Congress, hailing an “historic journey for women’s football and for equality” that “will lead us to a path to equal pay.”
“For the first time ever, I (plan to) dedicate a specific portion of this payment, which mainly has to go to football development, but a specific portion of that should go of course to the players,” Infantino said, in announcing step two of his three-step plan.
Step one, Infantino said, “will be equal conditions and services for all men and women playing at a World Cup,” a reference to provisions such as accommodation and flights.
“This will be a reality already for the Cup in 2023, the same conditions for the World Cup (in) ’22 will be for the players and coaching staff in the Women’s World Cup in ‘23,” the 52-year-old Infantino said.
He added that step three “will be the most complicated one” and “would include a dedicated marketing strategy for the women’s game.”
“Our mission will be able to have equality in payments for (the) 2026 men’s and 2027 women’s World Cups,” Infantino said.
Last year, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) earned more money – $6.5 million – from its male equivalent reaching the knockout stages of Qatar 2022 than it did from winning World Cup tournaments in 2015 and 2019.
‘Actions and not just words’
According to Reuters, Infantino also criticized broadcasters for offering between 10 and 100 times less money for the Women’s World Cup than for the men’s tournament.
“FIFA is stepping up with actions and not just words,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is not the case with everyone across the industry. Broadcasters and sponsors have to do more.”
Infantino also promised that FIFA will generate record revenues of $11 billion by the end of the next financial cycle in 2026.
In a statement on Thursday, FIFPRO, soccer’s global players’ union, said it celebrates the progress made by FIFA in light of the prize money increase, which it said marks a step towards “greater equity and equality” in the industry.
Australia and New Zealand will co-host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which runs from July 20 until August 20.