Stuff that matters

The prize fund for the 2022 Women’s European Championship finals in England has been doubled, Uefa announced on Thursday, but the new figure is still only 4.3% of the money that is made available to teams competing in the men’s tournament.

The European governing body has increased money available to the 16 qualifying teams for the women’s Euros to €16m (£13.7m) from €8m and approved the introduction of a system under which club sides will be remunerated for the release of players with payouts from a €4.5m fund.

However, the 24 men’s teams competing in the men’s Euros this summer shared a total prize pot of €371m and the winners, Italy, earned up to €34m alone. Meanwhile, men’s clubs with players released to take part were guaranteed a share of at least €200m.

The decision to double the women’s prize pot comes following a Uefa executive committee meeting in Chisinau, Moldova on Wednesday and the governing body added that details of its financial distribution scheme would be made available soon.

Uefa said it was “ensuring that more money than ever before is distributed across the women’s game.”

The women’s Euros, originally scheduled for the summer of 2021 but postponed by 12 months because of the pandemic, is set to take place in England in July next year.

The world governing body Fifa made a similar pledge before the 2019 Women’s World Cup, doubling the prize pot from $15m to $30m and promised to double that figure again for the 2023 edition. The US World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe said the increase did not go far enough. “It’s certainly not fair,” she said. “If you really care about the game in the same way, why are you letting the gap grow?”

The men’s World Cup in 2018 had a total prize fund of $400m, which has increased to $440m for the 2022 tournament.