U.S. Soccer’s recently ratified an equal-pay agreement, which requires the men’s and women’s national teams to split World Cup prize money evenly, and that means each team will get $5.85 million for the men’s victory over Iran on Tuesday. The win sent the Americans on to the Round of 16 of the tournament and was worth $13 million. After U.S. Soccer takes it 10% cut, the rest will be divided between the two national teams.
The women got just $6 million combined for winning the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. Their earnings from this tournament will grow if the men continue to advance in the knockout rounds.
FIFA is awarding $440 million in prize money to the 32 nations at this year’s World Cup. It awarded $30 million for the 24 teams at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
⚽ 2022 Qatar World Cup
Fox gets 15.6 million viewers for U.S.-Iran
Early ratings numbers show Fox’s audience for Tuesday’s U.S.-Iran game peaked at 15.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The game drew nearly 1 million streaming viewers.
Another barrier falls: Women to officiate a men’s match for the first time
Stephanie Frappart of France will become the first woman to take charge of a men’s World Cup game when she referees Germany’s group-stage finale with Costa Rica on Thursday. FIFA also picked two women as assistants to Frappart — Neuza Back of Brazil and Mexico’s Karen Díaz — to complete an all-female officiating team on the field.
A fourth woman, Kathryn Nesbitt of the U.S., will also be working the game at Al Bayt Stadium as the offside specialist in the video review team.
Frappart, the center official in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final in France, previously served as a fourth official in Qatar. Her selection as the first woman to the center in this World Cup came 44 games into the 64-match tournament.
Iran’s loss to U.S. cheered — in Iran
Iran’s 1-0 loss to the U.S. in Tuesday’s group-stage finale was cheered in parts of Iran, where millions have taken to the streets over the past two months in anti-government demonstrations. The celebration was particularly joyous in Iran’s Kurdish regions where some people shouted “Death to the dictator,” a popular protest slogan referring to the Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The protests began 2 ½ months ago after the death of a young Kurdish woman in the custody of Iran’s morality police in the capital of Tehran and have quickly morphed into the most serious challenge to Iran’s theocracy since its establishment in the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Players on the Iranian national team became unwitting pawns in the conflict with the government adopting them as a symbol and national pride and the protesters calling for the players to make public shows of support during the World Cup.
Iran, playing in a third straight World Cup, was bidding to advance to the tournament’s second round for the first time in its history.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.