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The Margin: Qatar World Cup: How much prize money is at stake?


The eyes of the world are firmly on Qatar as the top soccer nations battle to lift the World Cup.

The Qatar World Cup is arguably the most controversial in the tournament’s history, with criticism over the plight of migrant workers and serious concerns about LGBTQ+ rights in the Gulf state sparking a backlash long before a ball had ever been kicked.

On the pitch, the World Cup winners will be crowned after the final on Dec. 18 at Lusail Stadium, north of the Qatari capital of Doha. But how much prize money will they take home?

Also read: ‘It’s gonna be big’: Budweiser to host ‘victory celebration’ in World Cup winning nation with surplus Qatar beer

FIFA has allocated $440 million in prize money, up from $400 million for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The Qatar World Cup winners will walk away with $42 million, $4 million more than the $38 million France received after defeating Croatia in the 2018 final.

The runner-up will receive $30 million, while the third- and fourth-place teams will get $27 million and $25 million, respectively. Teams knocked out in the quarterfinals will each receive $17 million, while those knocked out in the second round will get $13 million each. Teams knocked out in the group stage will get $9 million each.

Each of the 32 qualifying teams also receives $1.5 million ahead of the competition to cover preparation costs.

See also: Qatar World Cup controversy means sponsors are walking a tightrope

Each team has its own pay structure for players. For the U.S. team, pay is laid out in the milestone collective-bargaining agreements reached earlier this year between the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association, the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association and the U.S. Soccer Federation The agreements, which run through 2028, follow years of pressure for equal pay from the hugely successful U.S. women’s team.

In May, the U.S. Soccer Federation said it is the first in the world to equalize the FIFA World Cup prize money awarded to men’s and women’s national teams for participation in their respective World Cups.

Under the terms of the agreements, prize money from the 2022 Men’s World Cup and the 2023 Women’s World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand, will be pooled, with 90% shared equally between the men’s and women’s national teams and 10% given to the U.S. Soccer Federation. Prize money will also be pooled for the 2026 men’s World Cup and the 2027 women’s World Cup, with 80% shared equally between the two teams and 20% going to U.S. Soccer.

Related: Qatar World Cup backlash an important moment for soccer, says ESPN’s Shaka Hislop

The agreements also established equal appearance fees for both teams, with individual players receiving $10,000 per FIFA World Cup appearance, in addition to their share of any prize money.

Forbes reports that, if the U.S. men’s national team exits the World Cup after the first three group games, each player would receive $206,000. If they win the World Cup, each player will get $892,000.

The Canadian team will not reach the knockout stage in Qatar after losing its second group game Sunday. CTV reports that the proportion of Canada’s prize money that goes to the players is subject to ongoing labor talks that would establish the first collective-bargaining agreement between the players’ association and Canada Soccer. Pay equity with the Canadian women’s soccer team will be a cornerstone of the agreement, according to CTV, citing the players’ association and Canada Soccer. The Canadian women’s soccer team is also negotiating a new deal with Canada Soccer, CTV reports.

Now read: Could Qatar’s ‘reusable’ World Cup stadium end up in Uruguay? There are some amazing plans for tournament venues.

There is significantly more prize money available in the men’s World Cup than the women’s tournament. However, the Associated Press reports that FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed doubling the women’s prize money to $60 million for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

FIFA earned record revenues of $7.5 billion for the four years of commercial deals tied to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, according to the Associated Press.

Fox Sports, which is owned by Fox Corp.
 the sister company of MarketWatch publisher Dow Jones’s parent company, News Corp
 holds English-language broadcast rights in the U.S. to the Qatar World Cup.

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