FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, said on Wednesday that he can’t guarantee that football federations will distribute the bonus payments promised to every player at the women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“We are moving of course in the right direction, we have been consulting with associations, with players, to try to go in the right path,” Infantino said at a news conference.

 “We have issued these recommendations, but we have an association of associations.

“So whatever payments we do, we will go through the associations and then the associations will, of course, make the relevant payments to their own players,” he added.

Football governing body FIFA will pay out $110 million in total prize money to the 32 teams at the 2023 World Cup, a significant increase compared to $30 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2015.

Under the guarantees, each player participating in the World Cup will receive a minimum of $30,000. However, there is no mechanism to directly pay the players the money.

During the news conference, Infantino also brushed off calls from World Cup co-hosts Australia for equal pay in football ahead of the beginning of the tournament.

In 2022, FIFA paid a total of $440 million to the teams competing at the men’s World Cup in Qatar.

Infantino previously said that FIFA’s goal is to equalise the prize money by the 2026 men’s World Cup and the 2027 women’s edition.

On Monday the Matildas, as the Australian women’s national football team is known, criticized FIFA for not giving women the same prize money as the men.

Asked for his view on the criticism on Wednesday, Infantino said this was a time to “focus on the positives.”

“Today is the eve of the opening game at the Women’s World Cup…it’s a moment to focus on the positives, to focus on the happiness and the joy,” Infantino told reporters in Auckland.

“Until the final on August 20, you will hear from me only positive things.”

“If somebody’s still not happy about something, well I’m sorry. I’m happy with everything and I love everyone.”

In a video published on Monday in which all 23 Australia squad members voiced their opinion, midfielder Tameka Yallop said, FIFA had a long way to go towards equal pay which has been achieved in Australia for the Matildas and the men’s team, known as the Socceroos.

“Collective bargaining has allowed us to ensure we now get the same conditions as the Socceroos, with one exception.

FIFA will still only offer women one-quarter as much prize money as men for the same achievement,” she said.

The Matilda’s reached equal pay a few years ago when the Australian FA agreed to pay the men and women the same base fee from tournament prize money.

They are one of only very few World Cup teams to have achieved that at the domestic level.

Hosts Australia and New Zealand kick off the tournament on Thursday against Norway and Ireland, respectively. The final is scheduled for August 20.

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