England or Spain will make history inside Stadium Australia on Sunday when one of them lifts the Women’s World Cup trophy for the first time.

While sporting glory will be at the forefront of their minds, victory will also earn each player in the winning squad $270,000 (£212,000) in prize money from FIFA.

There have been plenty of historical instances where players have not been paid after World Cup appearances, so for this tournament, FIFA changed its process, guaranteeing each participating player a pre-determined amount of money. That money is to be distributed by football’s world governing body to the 32 federations whose sides competed at the World Cup. They will then be responsible for passing that on to players.

The prize money for each player is as follows:

  • Group stage: $30,000
  • Round of 16: $60,000
  • Quarter-final: $90,000
  • Fourth place: $165,000
  • Third place: $180,000
  • Second place: $195,000
  • Winners: $270,000

This system, however, relies on federations passing the money on to players. On Saturday, FIFA’s chief women’s football officer Sarai Bareman told the FIFA Women’s Football Convention in Sydney she will “personally be making sure every dollar that gets paid that is for those players will end up in their bank accounts”.

The Athletic contacted all 32 federations and asked them the same four questions about prize money and bonuses:

  • FIFA is distributing prize money for players through each federation. Can you confirm your federation will be allocating this money to the players as mandated by FIFA?
  • When will the players receive this prize money?
  • Will your federation be giving the players any bonus payments separate from the FIFA prize money?
  • If so, how much will each player receive through those bonus payments?

Here’s a summary of the responses we received:

  • Only 14 federations responded to our questions. Eighteen did not reply at all. They were: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Haiti, Italy, Morocco, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Vietnam.
  • Nine of the 14 respondents confirmed they planned to allocate the FIFA funds to their players. They were: Australia, England, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, the U.S. and Zambia.
  • Five federations replied but provided no answers to our questions: Argentina, Jamaica, China, Nigeria and Panama.
  • Several federations declined to disclose the terms of player bonuses beyond what FIFA is guaranteed to pay them.

Japan (quarter-finals, $90,000 per player)

“Of course, the JFA (Japan Football Association) will be allocating FIFA’s appearance salary to the players as mandated by FIFA,” said a JFA media officer.

“Tournament bonuses are also paid out of prize money from organisers such as FIFA. In this Women’s World Cup, the total appearance salary paid to the players by FIFA and the bonus paid by the JFA is comparable to that of Samurai Blue (Japan’s men’s team) in terms of the ratio to the underlying tournament prize money. Payments for national team players are set out in the payment regulations by JFA.


(Hagen Hopkins – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

“The amount is not made public and cannot be disclosed, but it is updated annually and paid in the form of victory bonuses and tournament bonuses, depending on the results of the respective competitions. From our previous experiences, the players will receive tournament bonuses from JFA, as soon as the transmission of prize money from FIFA to JFA is completed.”

Australia (fourth place, $165,000 per player)

Football Australia said it “will be distributing prize money as mandated by FIFA and as agreed under the terms of our collective bargaining agreement with our players”.

It added: “The Matildas receive match payments and contracted Matildas receive an annual salary as provided for under our collective bargaining agreement (CBA) — prize money is paid in addition to this.

“We are unable to disclose private information about player salaries. A general overview of the terms of our CBA is publicly available.”

New Zealand (group stage, $30,000 per player)

The co-hosts confirmed they will distribute money to players “as soon as possible once it is received”.

Like Australia, New Zealand’s players have a CBA in place, which sets out the terms for player payment.

The federation declined to comment further about any bonus payments that players would be receiving beyond the funds FIFA will provide. “This is not something that is released publicly as it is a private agreement between New Zealand Football and the (New Zealand) Professional Footballers’ Association,” it added.

Germany (group stage, $30,000 per player)

DFB, the football federation for Germany, also confirmed players will receive the FIFA-mandated money once received from world football’s governing body. The players’ earnings, however, are limited to FIFA prize money, with no additional payments being given.


(Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

“The World Cup bonuses that the DFB pays out to the players are always fed from the prize money that the DFB receives from FIFA,” a spokesperson said.

Zambia (group stage, $30,000 per player)

There have been questions about the Zambian FA’s financial support for its women’s team, including in the build-up to this tournament. It told The Athletic it will direct the funds to players as directed by FIFA.

“There is no debate about the money allocated for players going to the designated beneficiaries. The players will receive the funds once FIFA makes them available,” the Zambian FA said. “We have not yet received the funds as a matter of record. As for bonus payments, just like any of our various national teams, the structure is well defined and the players know their entitlements.”

Netherlands (quarter-finals, $90,000 per player)

The Royal Netherlands Football Association declined to discuss prize money but did confirm plans to abide by FIFA’s mandate. The federation also said FIFA would be auditing its distribution.

“We don’t discuss the distribution of prize money with representatives of the media,” a spokesman for the federation said. “In general, I can say about this matter that although the mandate of FIFA arrived very late (shortly before the start of the tournament), we will respect their wishes on this matter.”

Sweden (third place, $180,000 per player)

The Swedish FA confirmed it will be distributing its prize money to its players “ASAP” once it receives the money from FIFA. The federation does not offer its players any additional bonus payments separate from what FIFA will provide.

England (final, $270,000 for winning, $195,000 as runners-up)

The English FA is involved in a dispute with its players over bonus payments for this World Cup, discussions that have been set aside for the duration of this tournament.

It confirmed players would receive the FIFA prize money but did not elaborate on our other questions because it said its focus is on the World Cup final.

United States (round of 16, $60,000 per player)

The USWNT players have a CBA in place (more on their arrangement below), meaning they will actually receive more than the FIFA-allocated prize money.

U.S. Soccer told The Athletic that “of course” the team will receive the money.

“It’s already committed,” spokesman Aaron Heifetz said. “FIFA’s new designation doesn’t impact the U.S. team at all. They were going to get that money no matter what. For some teams, because the money does go to the federations and not the players, it has a big impact on them — even if you’re one of the lower-level teams that gets knocked out, the federation has to give you the money. But for the U.S. players, the rule didn’t make any difference because they’re already getting 10 times that amount of money.”

Some federations have a much more robust public record when it comes to paying their players than others, with one of the most high-profile examples being the United States women’s national team.

Last year, U.S. Soccer and the men’s and women’s senior national teams announced the ratification of two new CBAs, which achieve equal pay and equal rates of pay for the two teams. The identical economic terms cover equal compensation for all competitions, and all three sides have come together to guarantee equal FIFA prize money. The CBAs run through to 2028.

“Under these agreements, U.S. Soccer becomes the first federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money awarded to the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) and the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) for participation in their respective World Cups,” the federation said in its announcement at the time.

Other countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Norway, have announced equal pay between their men’s and women’s national team players — but none of those agreements have included an equal split of FIFA World Cup prize money.

The USWNT and USMNT will pool their respective prize monies awarded by FIFA for the 2022 and 2023 World Cups, as well as the 2026 and 2027 World Cups, under the new CBAs, then equally split the shared pot. The USWNT received $60,000 per player for their last-16 exit.


(Erick W Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

This structure is far from the norm across the world.

Upon Nigeria’s exit from the World Cup, FIFPRO, the global players’ union, issued a statement acknowledging it would assist the national team in its dispute with their federation “concerning bonus payments, camp allowances and expenses, some of which date back to 2021”.



Women’s World Cup players are speaking out: Will the disputes be solved or grow?

“During the World Cup, the players expressed the desire to remain focused on their performance without making public statements or facing other distractions,” the statement read. “However, the Super Falcons believe that it is now time for the Nigeria Football Federation to honour their commitments and pay the outstanding amounts.”

The Nigeria Football Federation did not respond to questions from The Athletic.

South Africa were involved in a pre-tournament dispute with their federation, with the players highlighting concerns including financial compensation. Shortly before the World Cup began, the South Africa Football Association said it had resolved the pay dispute thanks to a donation from the Motsepe Foundation, according to Reuters.

On the eve of the World Cup, the Australia Women’s national team called out the gender disparity in prize money between the women’s and men’s tournaments. They also emphasised how several nations do not yet have collective bargaining rights.

The team released the message in a video published by Professional Footballers’ Australia, their players’ union, three days before the start of the World Cup, which they jointly hosted alongside New Zealand.

The team said: “FIFA still only offers women one-quarter as much prize money as men for the same achievement. Our sisters in the A-League Women’s are pushing for football to be a full-time career so that they do not have to work part-time jobs like we had to. We call our fans to go all in at the tournament and continue that support by getting to an A-League Women’s game and lifting up the next generation of national team players.”

When asked about this at a press conference before their World Cup opener, Sam Kerr said she and the team would let the statement speak for itself as they turned their attention to the football.

(Top photo: Elsa – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)