He said in a press conference ahead of the opening match that he was in talks with member associations on the matter.
The money is provided by the national organizations, which are expected to pay the players.
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But there is no way to pay the players directly, which could be life-changing for some.
“We are going in the right direction, we have been discussing with the association, with the players, to try to go in the right direction,” said Infantino.
“We have made these proposals, but we have a union organization. So whatever money we make, we will go through the unions and then the unions will pay the right wages to their players. We cooperate with all unions.”
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FIFA had already decided that the 732 players who will participate in the World Cup will pay at least $44,000 each. The pay check goes up if the teams do well, with each player on the winning team earning $398,000.
Infantino said there are challenges including having taxes that are well managed by corporations.
The pay is significant for many players: the average annual salary worldwide for female professional players is $20,600.
FIFA’s agreement means that half of the total 162 million dollars of the World Cup will be paid to the players of the 32 teams. The prize is more than three times the amount of money that FIFA has given for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France of 44.3 million dollars.
The international players’ union, known as FIFPRO, has helped push FIFA to hand over a portion of the money allocated to the players. The union sent a letter to FIFA in October on behalf of players from 25 national teams calling for equal conditions and prize money.
However, the prize money is still less than the $649 million awarded to men who played in last year’s World Cup in Qatar. Infantino said the goal is to match the funding for the 2026 men’s World Cup and the 2027 women’s edition.
Infantino said the Women’s World Cup is expected to generate half a billion dollars and the organization will fail. For the first time, the commercial rights for the Women’s World Cup were sold separately from the men’s competition.
The tournament will open on Thursday with both teams joining. New Zealand will face Norway in Auckland, and Australia will face Ireland in Sydney.
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