The most valuable and expensive World Cup ever will earn billions of dollars for FIFA, millions for the competing countries and thousands for the more than 700 players selected.
From its near $4.5 billion in revenue from broadcasters, sponsors, hospitality and licensing deals, FIFA distributes just over $400 million to the 32 national federations taking part in the tournament.
Here is how some of that money breaks down:
The winner between Germany and Argentina in the final will get $35 million in prize money paid to its national federation, which can spend the money as it chooses.
That’s $5 million more than the $30 million Spain took home from South Africa four years ago.
The runner up gets $25 million (up from $24 million in 2010), while the third- and fourth-place teams get $22 million and $20 million, respectively.
FIFA lets national federations choose how to reward the 23 players on their squads.
The German federation last year promised all 23 players a 300,000-euro ($408,000) bonus for winning a fourth World Cup title.
That is the equivalent of a few weeks’ basic wage for the German players who are employed by wealthy European clubs like Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Prize money for the other 28 federations who are eliminated before the semifinals stayed at the same level as in 2010.
Quarterfinalists get $14 million, round of 16 losers get $9 million and those which failed to advance from the group get $8 million.
How do they spend it? Four years ago, FIFA acknowledged it did not know if the $8 million paid to North Korea would stay within football there.
In addition, FIFA paid $1.5 million in advance to each of the 32 federations to prepare for the tournament — an increase of $500,000 from the 2010 tournament
That should have helped pay for training camps before arriving in Brazil and settle some player bonus issues which have traditionally dogged World Cup teams, especially from Africa.
PAY TO PLAY
As usual, problems over paying bonuses exposed the financial problems of African federations and a fundamental distrust many players have for elected football officials.
Three of the five African teams — Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria — were distracted by payment issues.
Cameroon’s squad arrived a day late after refusing to board a plane, forcing their federation to take out a loan to ensure players got paid.
Ghana’s government flew in $3 million in cash — after Brazil’s government waived laws on moving currency — to avert a threatened strike by players who were reportedly promised between $75,000 and $100,000.
Nigeria players canceled a training session before its round of 16 loss against France to ensure its bonus payments were upheld. They were promised $10,000 each for every group stage win, and could have earned $102,500 in total for winning the title.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said it was “sad” that bonus issues distracted from the football.
He pledged that, in the future, FIFA will seek written agreements from federations that players are contracted to receive their money before arriving in Russia in 2018.
Clubs who released the 736 players taking part in the World Cup will also get their share of FIFA’s revenues.
FIFA has set aside $70 million to distribute at a rate of $2,800 per player per day that each was on World Cup duty. The money is shared between each player’s current club and any other he played for in the two previous years during qualification matches.
Reprinted with permission of the Associated Press.