The prize money for this summer’s Women’s World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand, will jump to $110 million, FIFA announced Thursday. Most of that money, the organization said, should go to the players—a significant boost in payout from the $30 million awarded in 2019 and $15 million divided among participants in 2015.
While the figure is nearly double the $60 million initially planned for this year’s tournament, it’s still a far cry from the $440 million paid out in the 2022 men’s tournament in Qatar.
At the FIFA Congress Thursday morning, president Gianni Infantino said the organization hopes to distribute equal prize money between the two tournaments by the 2027 Women’s World Cup. FIFA also affirmed that players will be met with the same conditions this summer in Australia and New Zealand as men’s teams were at last year’s World Cup.
“As a father of four beautiful daughters, I know very well how much attention we need to give women in our lives,” Infantino said. “Our ambition will be, of course, to be able to have equality in payments for the ’26 Men’s and ’27 Women’s World Cups. FIFA is stepping up with actions, not just with words… but unfortunately this is not the case of everyone across the industry. Broadcasters and sponsors, dear friends, have to do more in this respect.”
While equal prize money will not come in time for this year’s tournament, which kicks off July 20, FIFA’s goal is for women’s prize money in 2027 to match that given to the men for the 2026 tournament, which will take place in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Infantino clarified this was not a promise but an ideal that will admittedly be difficult to achieve. FIFA’s leader largely blamed broadcasters and TV networks for holding back equal pay by offering significantly less money—as much as 100 times less—for the women’s tournament’s media rights.
“They criticize FIFA for not guaranteeing equal pay to men and women,” Infantino said. “If you pay us 100 times less, whereby your viewing figures are very similar—maybe 20-25% less for the women than for the men, not 100 times less. [If they are] 20% less, well, offer us 20% less. Offer us 50%, but not 100% less, because how can we do it otherwise? That’s why we all need to be on the same side on this fight for real equality. FIFA will do its part. We’ve started already. Others [need] to do the same.”
The total payout at this year’s Women’s World Cup will hit $150 million, with $40 million allocated to preparation and club benefits. This year’s tournament will be the first to feature 32 teams, expanding from the 24-team format used in 2019 and 2015. The tournament allowed just 16 teams in 2011.
Fifpro, the global professional players’ union that represents 65,000 men’s and women’s soccer players worldwide, sent a letter to FIFA last fall calling for equal prize money at the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup. The letter also addressed tournament conditions and guaranteed redistributions of the FIFA prize money to players. (In many countries, women’s national team players do not have contractual agreements with their national federations to receive a portion of the money their team wins).
Twenty-five women’s national teams were represented in the letter, according to The Wall Street Journal, including the U.S. Women’s National Team, winner of four World Cups.
“Through the voice and solidarity of players around the world over months and years of campaigning, significant progress has been made in the conditions, prize money and prize money redistribution for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Fifpro wrote in a statement issued Thursday. “The progress announced today demonstrates the intent of the players and FIFA to work proactively towards greater equity and equality for the industry… The work is not yet done. Fifpro and 150 players from 25 national teams were clear in a letter sent to FIFA in October; the pathway to equality remains of paramount importance.”