Much-needed payout grows to life-altering levels for tiny teams that advance in Women’s World Cup

Jamaica's Khadija Shaw, right, celebrates after the Women's World Cup match on Aug. 2 between Jamaica and Brazil in Melbourne, Australia. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Players who reached the knockout round at the Women’s World Cup got larger individual bonuses that can be life-changing for many of them.

FIFA designated $30,000 for the 732 players among 32 teams in the tournament field. The payout rises to $60,000 for players on the 16 teams that advanced out of group play.


The money grows to $90,000 for players in the quarterfinals and its a significant payday for many of the players, particularly those that have had financial disputes with their federations over pay and support.

Hildah Magaia, appropriately nicknamed the “Breadwinner” of South Africa’s squad, helped the Banyana Banyana advance out of group play, into the knockout stage, and double her bonus.

She appropriately plans to use the money to care for her mother.

Deneisha Blackwood, part of the Jamaica squad eliminated by Colombia in the knockouts, described the minimum payouts as a good start for her team. Jamaica has had financial difficulties and relied on crowdfunding to raise money for its travel to the tournament.

“Obviously we as players have a life outside of football and I think prize money like that rewards us in ways we can’t imagine. A lot of us have bills to pay and family to take care of,” Blackwood said, “and I think for the younger generation, especially, football doesn’t make you a lot of money. So for (girls) to see us doing what we love and realize that you can make a living off it — it’s motivational.”

No one can ensure all the players will receive their guaranteed bonuses.

The global players union, FIFPRO, last year sent a letter to FIFA on behalf of players from 25 national teams asking for better conditions within the tournament. FIFA announced the individual bonuses of the $110 million prize pool in June.

But FIFA President Gianni Infantino said before the start of the World Cup that the federations would be responsible for distributing the payments. He was unable to make any guarantee that funds would reach the players.

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