FIFA World Cup 2018 prize money increased to $400 million

The prize money for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been increased by 12 per cent to $400 million

The prize money for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been increased by 12 per cent, president Gianni Infantino said in Kolkata after the council meeting on Friday.

Among the other issues discussed at the meeting here, a proposed combined youth World Cup instead of separate U-17 and U-19 events from 2020 onwards was also mulled while the Israel-Palestine standoff issue was closed without taking any action.

An idea of doing away with the Confederations Cup and expanding the Club World Cup was also mooted.

FIFA's strategic body approved an increase in the prize money to a total amount of $400 million -- 12 per cent up from the $358 million of the 2014 edition.

The FIFA Council also ratified the decision of the Bureau of the Council of September 6 to approve the enhanced Bidding Regulations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and appointed the members of the Bid Evaluation Task Force.

"We want the bidding process to be bullet proof. So the criteria is more stringent for bidding," Infantino told reporters here.

According to the bidding regulations, the Task Force must be composed of the chairpersons of the Audit & Compliance Committee and the Governance Committee -- in this case, Tomaž Vesel and Mukul Mudgal respectively -- as well as a member of the Organising Committee for Competitions (Ilco Gjorgioski was appointed), together with experts from the administration: Deputy Secretaries General Zvonimir Boban (football) and Marco Villiger (administration).

Infantino said that the Council also decided to close the long-standing Israel-Palestine impasse as football cannot solve political issues and FIFA will need to remain neutral in such matters.

"We have taken a decision on the report of FIFA Monitoring Committee (of Tokyo Sexwale) on Israel-Palestine issue. The Council has taken note of all relevant documents including the United Security Council resolution.

"We have decided that FIFA cannot take positions on such documents. Due to complexities of the issue and great sensitivity due to certain de facto circumstances, we felt a non governmental organisation like FIFA cannot make changes unilaterally."

Infantino was speaking on the eve of the FIFA U-17 World Cup final between England and Spain and a third-place tie between Brazil and Mali.

"We have limitations and FIFA will have to be neutral in political matters. This territories are a concern of competent international public law authorities and any interference by FIFA in the status quo in this territories in terms of football matter will further aggravate the football situation not only in these territories but in the whole area.

"So, the FIFA Council has refrained from imposing any sanctions and declared the issue as closed until the legal and de facto framework has changed," he added.

Approval of the dates of FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019, FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018, , FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018 and FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018 was also given.

While the Women's World Cup will be held from June 7 to July 7, the Club World Cup will be from December 12 to 22 next year.

The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will take place from August 5 to 24 while the U-17 Women's World Cup will get underway from November 13.

The meeting took place on the eve of the final and third-place game of the U-17 World Cup. This is the first time a FIFA Council meeting was held in India.