Last October, FIFA announced the 2018 men’s World Cup would dole out $400 million in prize money. This October, FIFA announced the 2019 women's World Cup prize money would also increase its prize money substantially — but not nearly enough.
From the 2014 to the 2018 World Cups, FIFA increased the men’s payouts by $42 million to a cool $400 million, with France receiving $38 million as World Cup champion.
From the 2015 to the 2019 World Cups, FIFA will increase the women’s payouts by $15 million to a total of $30 million, according to reports.
While doubling the women's World Cup prize money is great news, it’s a bit disheartening to see the increase is about a third of what the men’s World Cup prize money went up.
That said, there are other areas where FIFA is (finally) stepping up its game in regards to the women’s World Cup.
FIFA will finally give compensation to women’s World Cup participants in a number of areas, including travel and training costs and money to clubs whose players are involved — as has been customary for FIFA men’s competitions.
Money for preparation costs, including business-class flights for any team traveling more than four hours, will increase from zero to $11.5 million. Club compensation will increase from zilch to $8.5 million.
When you add in the additional $20 million in compensation, the increase in money from FIFA for the women’s World Cup is $35 million — still less than the $42 million increase the men saw, but not an insignificant amount by any means.
Revenues should matter in prize money, but the men who chime in this way—and it's always men—invariably fail to recognize the difference between for-profit companies (like pro sports teams) and non-profit entities like FIFA whose main purpose is to grow and invest in the sport. https://t.co/1NMoJqljMn— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) October 12, 2018
Revenues do play a factor in prize money from FIFA and the men’s World Cup is miles ahead of the women’s World Cup in revenue. But, as Grant Wahl mentions in the tweet above, FIFA is supposed to be a non-profit entity focused on growing the sport. Increasing the prize money available for women’s World Cup to even half of the men’s World Cup would help the women far more than any further increase on the men’s side.
So FIFA’s women's World Cup prize money increase is a nice start, but it still has a long way to go to get to where it needs to be to keep the women’s game growing.