FIFA president, Gianni Infantino has announced equal prize money for men and women at World Cups by 2027.
The Women’s World Cup is getting a 300 percent increase in prize money for this year’s event, with the $150million (£125m) fund for the first 32-team tournament a huge boost from the 24-team edition in 2019, and 10 times what it was in 2015.
Speaking after being re-elected by acclimation through until 2027, Infantino insisted that around $60m (£50m) should be dedicated to paying players, but wants to close the gap to the men’s game completely in the next four years.
This promises to be a tough task after $440m (£365m) was shared by the 32 men’s teams at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, highlighting the significant difference in pay that currently exists.
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.
Infantinos hit out at broadcasters for their part in creating the gap in prize money.
The 52-year-old expressed his anger with broadcasters for offering too little for TV rights, and 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.
Infantino claimed broadcasters, some of them public service channels funded by taxpayers, have 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 football drawing audiences perhaps 20-50% less than for men’s games.
‘Well, offer us 20% less, 50% less. But not 100% less,’ Infantino said in closing remarks to the FIFA Congress in Rwanda. ‘That’s why we can’t do it.’
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