FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that he plans to engage with member federations to make sure that the $30,000 payments designated for every player at the Women's World Cup reach the athletes.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday ahead of the tournament's opening match between hosts New Zealand and Norway on Thursday, Infantino said there are complications including residency and taxation that are best handled by federations.
Infantino said that the Women's World Cup is expected to generate a half-billion in revenue — despite the prize money boost — and the organization will break even. For the first time, the commercial rights for the Women's World Cup were sold separately from the men's tournament.
"I think we have been taking some groundbreaking moves here and decisions and is by far not yet the end of the story. We are looking to work together with the associations and the players to have a smooth World Cup in this respect as well. And then as of the 21st of August, we will start to focus on the future as well, and on this matter as well. And again, also this is a path also this is a is a journey. And as part of the agreement that we have been able to reach in Europe with the European countries, with the European Broadcasting Union, for example, I want to take this just as an example, but it's something that will accompany us globally as part of the agreement. We have added a very significant element on the promotion of the women's game. We want to see all over the world, at least, I don't know, one hour a week of women's football streamed in the main broadcasters. Because that's the only way you can promote the game."
The payments will go to the individual federations, which are in turn expected to pay the players — but there is no mechanism to directly pay the players the sum, which could be life-changing for some.
FIFA had previously confirmed that the 732 players participating in the World Cup will be paid at least $30,000 each. The paycheck rises if teams do well, with each player for the winning team earning $270,000.
The $30,000 payment is a significant payday for many players: The average annual salary worldwide for women who play professionally is $14,000.
FIFA’s agreement means that half of the total World Cup prize money fund of $110 million will be paid to the players in the 32 teams. The prize pool is more than three times the $30 million prize fund FIFA paid out at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
The players’ union, known as FIFPRO, helped push for FIFA to dedicate a percentage of the prize money to the players themselves. The union sent a letter to FIFA in October on behalf of players from 25 national teams calling for more equitable conditions and prize money.
The prize money fund is still far below the $440 million paid to the men who played in the World Cup last year in Qatar. Infantino said the goal is to equalize the prize money by the 2026 men's World Cup and the 2027 women's edition.