World Cup prize money disparity is an obstacle to Equal Pay
What the $55 million would buy: a $250,000 Chevrolet Corvette, $50,000 of which would go to the winner, and $37.5 million for FIFA.
One might ask why the amount allocated for the FIFA World Cup in Russia is a fraction of what it costs to have the U.S. and the Russian Federation (or Qatar) stage a soccer competition. It’s not an easy question, but one might be reminded of the much publicized amount that the U.S. government spent on the Iraq War in 2003. It was about $60 billion, and the amount spent on staging the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 was only $26 million. A similar amount of money is needed to host such a competition as is currently being done in Russia.
This disparity is particularly interesting because when the U.S. Soccer Federation’s (USSF) Executive Committee (EC) met in January, it approved a budget of $50.2 billion for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. At this moment, it is still $4.5 million short of the total required to fund the tournament, and it is estimated that about $500 million for the various revenue generating initiatives is needed. After considering all funding possibilities through the year of 2018 or 2019, the EC decided to allocate $55 million to the prize pool – a quarter less than what is allocated to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and a bit less than a quarter of the $250-million-plus U.S. government funding for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
At the same time, it seems unlikely that FIFA will cut its current budget of $300 million for the World Cup, and the EC has been meeting with the FIFA Congress to discuss possible solutions to the funding issue. It is important to note that FIFA’s general assembly meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, in February 2014 approved $300 million for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The budget is much higher today than it was in 2014, because of several additional investments.
Although the U.S. government spent over $30 billion on the Iraq War when they decided to go to war with Saddam Hussein the U.S. soccer federation says it spends over $7.3 billion a year on professional soccer, both