Women’s World Cup: FIFA Wants To Increase Teams & Double Prize Money
Fifa president Gianni Infantino wants to increase the size of the Women’s World Cup to 32 teams and double its prize money, and launch a women’s Club World Cup.
After calling the ongoing tournament in France “the best women’s World Cup ever”, Infantino set out a five-point plan to make sure football “seizes this opportunity”.
Bidding for the 2023 tournament – which has yet to be allocated and was set to contain 24 sides – may have to restart to accommodate the extra teams.
Infantino also said the world governing body wants a women’s World League for national sides – similar to the Uefa Nations League – which would include promotion and relegation.
He also plans to double a planned $500m (£400m) investment in women’s football in the next four years, saying Fifa has unprecedented levels of reserves and “we don’t need all that money in Swiss banks – they have enough”.
More teams, more money
This year’s World Cup has seen record TV audiences in the UK and beyond, with Infantino keen to capitalise on the success of the tournament by expanding it from 2023.
Prize money for the 2019 World Cup was doubled to $30m (£24m) but will go up to $60m (£48m) for the next tournament.
The 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia had a total fund of $400m (£320m), with winners France taking home $38m (£30m).
“It’s a great thing, this World Cup, but then people forget, they do other things. It’s our job to make sure that they don’t forget and we don’t just say: ‘See you in four years,'” said the 49-year-old Swiss-Italian.
“That’s why I propose to the Fifa council and to all our members – who have to embrace the development of women’s football.
“We have already more than doubled the prize money for the World Cup this year, but we will double it again for the next World Cup – I am very confident that we can do that.
“We will have to act quickly to decide if we are to increase it for 2023. If we do, we should reopen the bidding process to allow everyone to have a chance or maybe co-host. Nothing is impossible.”
‘Clubs can shine on the world stage’
The Club World Cup has existed in men’s football since 2000. The winners of the Champions League face continental champions from Africa, Asia, Oceania and North and South America. Liverpool will take part in this year’s competition, set to be played in Qatar in December.
The Fifa president believes the first women’s event could be played in 2020.
“I would like to propose a Club World Cup for women, starting as soon as possible,” he said. “A real Club World Cup. We can only develop national football if we develop club football as well.
“It can be played every year to expose clubs all over the world. Clubs would invest even more in women’s football to shine on the world stage.”