The World Cup prize money is a barrier to equality in football, despite a historic equal pay pact between US soccer and its men’s and women’s teams.
Earlier this year, the US national team decided to split the prize money. This means that the costs of playing in the sport’s most prestigious tournaments are split equally between the players on both teams after the federation cuts the top.
This was a landmark agreement and was hailed as an important step towards equality beyond sport. But other countries have not followed suit.
At the heart of the issue is the huge disparity in prize money between the men’s and women’s tournaments and how it is ultimately passed from federations to players.
FIFA has allocated $440 million in prize money for this year’s men’s World Cup. The winner in Qatar gets his $42 million.
The US women’s team won $4 million from a $30 million pot at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed doubling the prize money for the 2023 event, but the teams covered have been expanded from 24 to 32.
It may change. FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura recently suggested that the final prize pool for women could be higher.
“Today, the Men’s World Cup is what finances all FIFA competitions, including the Women’s World Cup. But we’re seeing new trends when it comes to revenue,” she said at an event in Sydney.
While some countries, including Australia, Ireland, Brazil and Norway, have made significant strides towards equalizing match and entry fees, splitting pooled World Cup prize money evenly has been a challenge for these countries. was not part of the deal.
Brazil announced equal pay for the men’s and women’s teams in 2020, but the agreement would pay women a “proportionately equal” amount, or an equal percentage, of World Cup prize money.
In July, the Spanish federation also agreed to give female players the same percentage bonuses as their male counterparts.
Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of sports management at George Washington University, says there are three approaches to equal pay. As is the case with the American men’s team.
In countries like France and Germany, which have enjoyed World Cup success, it may be a difficult request as the men’s teams give up favorable paydays. France, who won her Cup at the 2018 Russian World Cup and earned her $38 million, distributed her $11 million to her 23 players on the team.
In contrast, US women are more successful than men, having won the last two World Cups. The US men did not qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia.
“Even if[US]women continue to outperform men, it doesn’t really hurt men.” Women can actually contribute just as much if they keep going.A bigger prize pool.So the economics that ties it to women will probably hurt men significantly more than women.”
Players like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrand won public support three years ago at the World Cup final in France, spurring “equal pay” chants. We campaigned for equal wages. The women then worked with the men’s union to form a pact to secure a larger share of the overall prize money for both sides after the federation’s funding.
US Soccer will receive 10% of the prize money awarded to each team and divide the rest between the players on the two teams’ World Cup rosters.
For the 2026 and 2027 tournaments, USSF will take 20% and split the rest similarly.
Australia, co-hosts of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, have asked FIFA to even out the prize pool instead. get the department But the federation also has plans to inject windfall profits into the second-tier women’s league and national women’s competition.
Canada’s men’s players, who are currently negotiating a contract with the federation, will receive 40% of their World Cup prize money, travel packages with friends and family, and “match fees for the same player, with the women’s national team sharing a percentage of the prize money.” Seeking an equitable structure. Respectively his FIFA World Cup prize money and the development of the women’s domestic league. “
Canadian women say they do not consider equal pay to be equal.
“Canadian football has always been rooted in our values of fairness and fair pay, and we have had ongoing discussions with our national teams to address previously disproportionate standards. I mean dollars, not percentages,” Soccer Canada said in a statement. The federation says progress has been made in negotiations.
For now, at least, there is a FIFA prize money disparity, but if the women’s team is to be paid equally, it will need to involve the men’s team, said Gina Antoniello, clinical assistant professor at NYU College of Technology. says.
“So how do we get that ally? Because that’s the right thing to do. Because women’s rights are human rights,” Antoniello said. “I think it’s a bit of a delicate balance to cooperate, but don’t be spoiled.”