Finance Uncategorized

Where does the record $576 million in prize money for the FIFA World Cup go?

Over half a billion dollars goes to teams at this year's FIFA World Cup, and here's how it's broken down.

(AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
(AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

As the biggest sporting tournament in the world, it’s only fitting that the 2014 FIFA World Cup has the biggest prize pool in the world, which crossed the half billion mark this year at a staggering $576 million — the most ever paid by FIFA.

The pool of prize money is used to satisfy and reward all participating countries and stakeholders that put up the costs to participate in the world’s biggest soccer tournament. The $576 million figure represents a 37 percent increase from the prize money pool awarded in 2010 at the South Africa World Cup.


Prize money is paid directly to the national soccer federations (e.g. U.S. Soccer, Brazilian Football Confederation, German Football Association, etc.), and how the national soccer federations decide to divvy up this money is entirely up to them. Fields of Green previously broke down how U.S. Soccer plans to distribute its prize money.

When it comes to dollar amounts, it’s a pay-for-performance approach that breaks down as follows:

FIFA prize money chart

With such large prizes awarded, it’s no wonder FIFA is able to maintain cozy relationships with football’s national federations who jump at the chance to play on the world’s biggest stage for such a lucrative purse.

(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)


Not all of the above winnings make up this $576 million pot.

FIFA sets aside cash to satisfy other stakeholders (per Reuters):

  • $70 million: Paid to the clubs whose players are taking part in the World Cup.
  • $20 million: Paid to the Brazilian Football Confederation as a “legacy” payment for hosting the Cup.
  • $100 million: Allocated to an insurance fund called the Club Protection Programme that provides protection if any players are injured while playing for their national team. Funds would presumably be used to replace an injured player’s lost revenue with their home clubs.


One advantage to hosting the World Cup is that all prize monies are taxable by the host country.

While other tax exemptions were part of the deal that brought the World Cup to Brazil, FIFA made sure prizes were not one of them.

For putting on the show, FIFA is on pace to make $2.61 billion in profit on this World Cup after expenses – the above $576 million participation and prize pool distributions included.

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