The prize pool of the Women’s World Championships grew explosively, still a fraction of the men’s total – this is how Ari Lahti, who is chasing the top finisher, is trying to make an impact

The prize pool of the Womens World Championships grew

The prize money for the Women’s World Cup will increase several times compared to the previous games.

President of the international football association FIFA Gianni Infantino told in mid-March (you will switch to another service), that 152 million dollars will be distributed in the summer games in Australia and New Zealand. In the 2019 Games, the prize pool was 30 million.

Despite the hefty increase, the prize money for women still falls short of the equivalent for men. 440 million dollars in prize money was distributed at the men’s World Cup in Qatar. The prize money for the upcoming Women’s World Cup is about 35 percent of Qatar’s figures.

For example, the US women’s national soccer team you made more money (you switch to another service) for the men’s team to advance from the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar than for the World Cup tournaments they won in 2015 and 2019. The men’s team was eliminated in the first playoff round after losing to the Netherlands 1–3.

– We don’t want the same amount because of the money, but because we want the treatment that people expect and deserve, the scorer of the winning goal in the 1999 World Cup final Brandi Chastain said (you switch to another service) commenting on the appreciation of women’s football.

The president of the football association Ari Lahten according to, increasing the prize money for women is extremely important for the sport.

– It shows that Fifa wants to invest significantly in women’s and girls’ football, as it has repeatedly said, Lahti says.

Towards equality

Speaking at a Fifa conference in Rwanda, Infantino said the prize pools for the 2026 men’s and 2027 women’s World Cups would be the same.

Development Manager of the Football Association Heidi Pihlaja was surprised by Fifa’s promise of equal prize money.

– I did not expect such a strong position and I am very happy that Fifa took such a position. It would mean a huge economic growth for women’s football. If we go for it, it will raise the economic and commercial ecosystem of the sport.

The International Football Association is responsible for the prize money of the World Cup. In order to distribute money, it needs the income generated by the sport.

– Fifa’s goal is that the popularity of women’s football grows even more and that there are TV rights payers and marketing partners for the World Cup finals so that Fifa can pay the prize money sensibly, says Ari Lahti.

48 countries will play in the men’s next World Cup, while there are 32 teams in the women’s, so equalizing the prize amounts is not necessarily straightforward.

– I don’t know how to interpret Infantino’s sentence. Is it the same per player or in absolute terms? It remains to be seen. He did not reveal that in his statement, says Lahti.

Lahti cannot assess whether the equal remuneration model will be implemented on schedule.

European Championship to Finland?

In the European Championship, organized by UEFA, the pay gap between men and women is greater than in the World Cup.

The prize pool for the men’s 2021 European Championships was 371 million euros. In the women’s European Championships played last summer, half as much prize money was distributed as in the previous women’s championships, a total of 16 million euros. It’s still just 4.3 percent (you switch to another service) of men’s money.

Lahti says that Uefa will discuss and decide on the prize money in the near future.

– Uefa has also invested a lot in the development of women’s football and strives for equality and closer prize money.

According to Heidi Pihlaja, it would be important to at least double the prize money for the European Championships in 2025.

– I hope that alongside the growth of the sport’s popularity, commercial potential and general interest, the prize money will also grow even faster.

The organizer of the 2025 Women’s European Championships will be chosen on April 4. Finland is applying for the Games together with Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In addition to the Nordic countries, Poland, France and Switzerland are competing for the Games with their own applications.

Read more: The organizer of the Women’s European Football Championship 2025 will be chosen on Tuesday – a big promise from Finland: “It is possible to sell out the stands at every match”

Lahti says that he worked hard with his colleagues to bring the games to the north.

– We feel that our application should be taken seriously. Whether it’s the best, we don’t know.

Top wash in binoculars

The beginning of April is an exciting time for Lahti. On April 5, the day after the selection of the European Championship, the European members of the Fifa board will be elected. Lahti is running for vice-president as a representative of UEFA.

The counter-candidate is an experienced Hungarian aspiring for the next season Sandor Csanyiwho has served as the vice-president of Fifa and UEFA since 2019. The vice-presidential term is four years.

Lahti says that he was inspired to apply by the themes surrounding the World Cup in Qatar, such as equality and the rights of minorities and migrant workers, which are important to the Nordic countries.

– There are no Nordic representatives in FIFA’s decision-making bodies. I thought that instead of shouting suggestions for improvement from the sidelines, you should try to influence things where decisions are made.

Lahti says that he campaigned by meeting the presidents of UEFA member countries either face to face or remotely. He has had discussions with about 40 chairmen.

– In itself, I have received quite a positive response to my thoughts, but yes, this Hungarian counter-candidate has experienced and been involved in international football circles for a long time. He is a tough opponent to beat. The possibilities are quite small.

The candidacy can only be a springboard for the next election in a few years.

– By saying that I want to influence and be involved in developing international football, I improve my chances of getting a seat on the decision-making bodies at that stage.

Fifa board

1 chairman

8 vice-presidents

28 members

From the European football confederation Uefa, Fifa’s board has three vice-presidents and six members.

Helmarit will play a doubles match against Slovakia on April 7 and 10. The matches starting at 14:00 will be seen in Areena.