FIFA World Cup Prize Money History (1982 to 2022)

FIFA World Cup is the most watched team sport event in the world only behind Olympics in terms of viewership numbers. Since FIFA has ensured extensive coverage both on TV and online streams the viewership numbers in last three world cups are staggering to say the least. Which resulted in FIFA making huge revenue thanks to global TV rights deals. That has help facilitate FIFA to increase the Prize Money at stake for FIFA World Cups every four years.

Fifa World Cup Prize Money

Today we take a look at historic FIFA World Cup prize money pools from 1982 to the most recent world cup 2018. The sheer increase in prize money is massive where it went from $20 million awarded in 1982 world cup to $400 million prize money pool distributed in FIFA World Cup 2018 and the record breaking $440 million confirmed for 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

So before the compare prize money fund of past fifa world cups, its important to know what exactly makes up this prize money fund and how it is distributed.

What is FIFA World Cup Prize Money Fund:

FIFA sells TV rights & online coverage rights worldwide on 4 year cycle basis and they also rack in sponsorship deals for FIFA World Cup in that cycle and qualifying rounds. revenue generated from Sale of tickets for world cup during this cycle also falls into this 4 year cycle revenue stream.

So to understand how prize money fund is created, we take a look at the most recent FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia and official numbers from FIFA.

FIFA’s 4 year cycle (2018-2022) revenue: 85% of the revenue in 4 year cycle comes from FIFA World Cup TV rights and sponsorship deals. FIFA World Cup 2022 cycle generated around $3.5 billion in TV & media rights sale, $2.4 billion in sponsorship and other commercial activities and another $1.1 million from ticket sales & hospitality packages plus another $890 million from licensing fee making it a grand total of $7.89 billion in revenue from 2018 to 2022.

below are the example but official numbers from 2015/2018 cycle which ended with Russia World Cup 2018.

See also In-depth analysis of: FIFA 2019-2022 Cycle Revenue Breakdown

From this $6.42 billion, 85% was generated only from FIFA World Cup 2018 ($5.357 billion) FIFA kept around $400 million as administration costs, around $420 million was spent on TV coverage production costs, another $390 million was invested to help organize the world cup 2018. Another $120 million was awarded to Russia football federation for organizing the tournament. However large portion is spent on helping develop football around the world by giving help to football federations worldwide.

$791 million was used as prize money fund for FIFA World cup 2018. That fund includes

  1. FIFA World Cup prize money (prize money awarded according to how teams finish in the world cup)
  2. Preparation money (fixed payments given to federations of participating teams in world cup)
  3. Club Benefit program (payments made to clubs whos players represent national teams)
  4. Club Protection and insurance fee (insurance payments for clubs whose players get injured during the world cup)

FIFA World Cup Prize Money Fund Distribution:

The prize money fund is allocated and confirmed 6 months before the world cup. In 2022 World Cup Qatar, FIFA announced $440 as prize money fund. Winning team to take home $45 million while the runners-up will get $32 million. FIFA also announced that $2.5 million will be given as guaranteed payment to each and every 32 national teams participating in World Cup 2022.

Teams who get knocked out in group stages take home $10 million each, teams who get knocked out in round of 16 get $12 million each, followed by $16 million each for losing teams in quarterfinals. fourth place team get $22 million, third place team will pocket $26 million. The eventual winners to get record $50 million in prize money.

Below table compares Qatar 2022 World Cup’s prize money to that of Russia 2018 World Cup.

STAGEQatar 2022 World CupRussia 2018 World Cup
Guaranteed Payments (all 32 teams)$2.5 million each$1.5 million each
Group Stage (16 eliminated teams)$8 million each $8 million each
Round of 16 (8 eliminated teams)$12 million each $9 million each
Quarterfinal (4 eliminated teams)$16 million each $14 million each
4th Place$22 million$18 million
3rd Place$26 million $20 million
Runners-up$32 million $25 million
Winners$45 million $38 million
Player Insurance Fee$70 million $100 million
Club Benefit (payments)$310 million $170 million
TOTAL prize money fund$1 Billion$791 million

FIFA World Cup Prize Money History:

now back to the main topic, World Cup prize money has been on the rise every four years continuously since 1982 where a total of $20 million was distributed among 24 teams. By FIFA World Cup 1990 prize money had more than doubled to $54 million and every four years FIFA increased the prize money around 50%. By the time Russia hosted 2018 World Cup total prize money fund had reached $791 million where the winning team (France took home $40 million).

World Cup 1982 (Spain)$20m$2.2m
World Cup 1986 (Mexico)$26m$2.8m
World Cup 1990 (Italy)$54m$3.5m
World Cup 1994 (USA)$71m$4m
World Cup 1998 (France)$103m$6m
World Cup 2002 (Japan-Korea)$156.5m$8m$100,000
World Cup 2006 (German)$266m$20m$300,000
World Cup 2010 (South Africa)$420m$30m$500,000
World Cup 2014 (Brazil)$576m$35m$1m
World Cup 2018 (Russia)$791m$38m$1.5m
World Cup 2022 (Qatar)$1 Billion$45 million$2.5 million
When FIFA officially started giving Prize Money in FIFA World cups ?

1982 was the first world cup when FIFA officially announced how much prize money each team will get. A total of $20 million was allocated as total prize money fund from which winners took home $2.2 million.

Who get the FIFA World Cup prize money ?

Prize money is handed to national federations. Players do not get any prize money from FIFA. However, its up to national football federations to decide if they want to compensate their players in anyway.

When do FIFA announce official prize money fund before the world cup ?

FIFA announced the full breakdown of prize money fund 6 months before the world cup.

Which world cup had the highest prize money to date ?

Qatar 2022 World cup is set to have the biggest prize money pool in world cup history with over $1 billion allocated is prize money fund. From which $450 million will be given to teams how they finish in the tournament.

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