As the final round of group matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia ends today, one can look back at the last 15 days smiling at how awesome the global fiesta has been, especially with the drama, thrills, suspense, excitement and even sober moments it has brought to the faces and homes of many all around the world.
By the end of today, 16 of the 32 participating teams would have been eliminated from the tournament, while the surviving teams (16) would formally progress into the Second round (knock-out round) of the tournament which commences on Saturday and is expected to feature the group winners and the 1st runner up in each of the eight groups over a single match fixture to gain a spot in the Round of 8 (Quarter Finals) and ultimately edge towards the grand final where the best team is crowned.
In the games played so far, it’s s been a harvest of goals and record shattering, but the biggest upset of the tournament has been the exit of defending champions, Germany from the group stage, a phenomenon which appears to be gradually warming its way into the football fiesta as a tradition, judging from the exit of previous winners at the group stage of successive tournaments viz; France (1998 winners) exited the 2002 edition at the group stage, Italy (2006 winners) exited the 2010 edition in South Africa at the group stage and Spain (2010 winners) crashed out of the last edition in Brazil (2014) at the group stage.
While the eliminated teams have sobbed and in many cases mourned their exit from the tournament this early, it is important to note that these teams don’t get to return home without some financial rewards. This indeed has been the tradition over the years as prize monies handed out to participating teams increases almost marginally at every tournament, with this year’s edition witnessing a 40% increase in the rewards for the participating teams compared to the previous edition in 2014.
As at the 1994 World Cup hosted by the United States, the total prize money stood at $71 million, the figure however grew to $282 million by the time Germany staged the tournament in 2006.
Now, how much are we really talking about?
As approved by the FIFA Council at its meeting in Kolkata on 27 October 2017, the total contributions for the participants of the 2018 FIFA World Cup amounts to USD 791 million. From this total, the biggest share of USD 400 million – will be paid as prize money to be distributed among the 32 participating teams in the following order:
USD 8 million each for teams eliminated at the group stage.
USD 12 million each for teams eliminated at the second round.
USD 16 million each for teams eliminated at the quarter finals.
USD 22 million for the fourth-place team.
USD 24 million for third-place team and bronze medals for the team and officials.
USD 28 million for the runners up and silver medals for the team and officials.
While the winners go home with USD 38 million, gold medals for the team and officials.
Prize monies are however paid after the tournament.
Added to this, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) handed to each qualified team ahead of the competition, USD 1.5 million to cover preparation costs, which guarantees each participating team at the tournament a minimum of USD 9.5 million.
FIFA has already allocated USD 209 million for the Club Benefit Programme, which will be paid via the member associations to the clubs releasing players to the participating countries at the tournament while USD 134 million have been earmarked for the Club Protection Programme, by which clubs are compensated for losses incurred due to players being injured while on international duty.
You still don’t think everyone is a winner?
You can bet that the FIFA World Cup is the biggest and most prestigious sporting event in the world.