FIFA has announced that players participating in the upcoming Women’s World Cup will receive individual fees directly from the global governing body for the first time.
This landmark decision marks a small step towards gender equality in the sport.
According to the newly revealed payout structure, players from the winning team will receive $270,000 (£217,000) each after the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Even those whose journey will end in the group stage will earn a substantial sum of $30,000 (£24,000) individually.
As the tournament progresses, the fees will increase, with some surpassing players’ club salaries.
FIFA’s 2022 benchmarking report found that the average salary for paid players is a mere $14,000 (£11,300).
The players’ union, FIFPRO, hailed this development. They believe it is the result of extensive global collective action by more than 150 national team players.
They sent a letter to FIFA in November, signed by these international players. FIFPRO called for greater financial equity and improved conditions.
They specifically emphasised the need for players to receive a significant share of the prize money directly.
The players stated in the letter (via the Guardian): “Many players at the Women’s World Cup come into the tournament as amateurs or semi-professional, which undermines their preparation and, in turn, the quality of football we see on the pitch.
“Many players have no agreement with their member associations to ensure they receive fair and equitable treatment, including a guaranteed World Cup compensation, for example, as a portion of World Cup prize money.
“Therefore, no matter the amount of prize money available, players are not granted a share in what they endeavour on the field to earn – a share that would support their careers and livelihoods.
“This is especially true for our fellow World Cup competitors around the world who are still not yet fully professional.”
FIFA’s commitment to promoting equality reflects in the increased financial support for the tournament.
The organisation will distribute $152 million (£122 million) – more than triple the amount paid in 2019.
Of this sum, $110 million (£88.4 million) will go to a performance-based fund. $11.5 million (£9.3 million) is for the club benefits program.
In addition, $30.7 million (£24.5 million) will serve as preparation funds.
Participating member associations will receive $1,560,000 (£1,254,224) for their involvement in the group stage.
The amount will rise to $4,290,000 (£3,449,117) for the tournament winners.
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