Tue | Oct 23, 2018

FIFA to increase prize money for Women's WCup

Published:Friday | September 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP):

In a concession to women's football, FIFA will start funding business-class flights for some of the Women's World Cup teams travelling to France for next year's tournament.

Total prize money will also "significantly increase" from the $15 million shared among 24 teams at the 2015 tournament, FIFA official Emily Shaw said yesterday at the Women In Sports Law conference.

The total sum will be confirmed by the FIFA Council, which meets October 25-26 in Rwanda, she said.

FIFA has been urged to close the gap between women's and men's World Cups in a new four-year cycle of tournaments and commercial deals that begins next year. In the current cycle, World Cup champions France earned US$38 million from FIFA, while the United States got US$2 million for winning the 2015 Women's World Cup.

FIFA has pledged to share US$440 million in prize money among the 32 men's teams playing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

At the 2018 World Cup, FIFA offered "business-class return flights for 50 people" to all men's team delegations going to Russia. The new FIFA pledge to women does not cover all teams going to France.

Flight upgrades to business class will be paid except for team flights under four hours, said Shaw, FIFA's head of women's football governance. Teams already qualified to play in France include Australia, Brazil, Chile, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

"It is definitely progress and, for those teams that travel enormous distances, it is going to come as a huge relief," former FIFA Council member Moya Dodd told The Associated Press at the conference..