Four years since police raided the hotel and offices of soccer officials and FIFA’s Zurich headquarters in 2015 in a scandal that threatened the organization’s existence, FIFA is awash with cash. People with knowledge of FIFA’s finances told The Associated Press that in the four-year period covering the 2018 World Cup, FIFA’s reserves soared to $2.74 billion and revenue rose to $6.4 billion. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the financial results remain confidential.Now, the organization is eager to show that handouts no longer line the pockets of its top managers. Rather, the money is being used to build stadiums, train coaches and provide more playing opportunities. But while the annual report underscores FIFA’s financial vitality, it also highlights the glaring disparity between men and women’s soccer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesLast summer’s World Cup is a good example: France banked $38 million from Fifa for winning the championship, but the women’s champion this July will earn just $4 million.U.S. coach Jill Ellis, who is leading her team’s title defense in France, said she is disappointed with the financial rewards. “You want to make sure there is a fair apportionment of winnings going out,” Ellis said.Most upsetting to critics is the fact that the financial gulf appears to be growing. Fifa has doubled the overall prize money fund to $30 million since the last Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015. But that total amount is less than the $40 million increase that men’s World Cup prize money will get in 2022 — for a total of $440 million in prize money.“The difference between the men’s and women’s prize money is ridiculous,” said Tatjana Haenni, who stepped down as Fifa head of women’s soccer in 2017. “It’s really disappointing the gap between the men’s and women’s World Cups got bigger. It sends the wrong message.”The world players’ union said the disparity is a reflection of Fifa’s priorities as well as of the status of women’s soccer.“In most countries, the pace of change has not been fast enough nor the changes progressive enough to make up for decades of neglect of the women’s game,” FIFPRO said in a statement to the AP. “Even today women’s football remains an afterthought for many of football’s male administrators and the game lags embarrassingly behind other more progressive sports and industries.ADVERTISEMENT Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed LATEST STORIES P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy In this July 5, 2015, file photo, the United States Women’s National Team celebrates with the trophy after they defeated Japan 5-2 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. People with knowledge of FIFA’s finances told The Associated Press that in the four-year period covering the 2018 World Cup, FIFA’s reserves soared to $2.74 billion and revenue rose to $6.4 billion, but it also underscores the glaring disparity between men and women’s soccer. Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, FileLONDON, England—When world soccer executives receive Fifa’s annual report this year, they will see that $753,000 is funding a women’s league in Colombia, $588,197 is helping female players in New Zealand and girls in Botswana are benefiting from $341,600.That’s merely a snapshot of the $270.3 million that the body that governs world soccer has invested in projects worldwide between 2016 and 2018.ADVERTISEMENT “Most troubling of all is that the gender gap in football is even widening in some areas, including the share of Fifa World Cup prize money.”Fifa President Gianni Infantino has said critics are “perfectly justified” and have a “fair point.”“We need to try to find what is the most balanced way and I think we made a step and there will be many more steps going ahead,” Infantino said in October before his ruling council approved the 2019 Women’s World Cup prize scale. “Maybe one day women’s football will generate more than men’s football.”Exactly how much money women’s soccer generates is unclear, as much of Fifa’s revenue comes from top sponsors who are signed up for both World Cups.“That’s something never really analyzed,” said Haenni, who spent 19 years at Fifa. “What is the potential value of the Women’s World Cup? Nobody knows the Women’s World Cup commercial value because it’s not sold separately. This is something that should at least be discussed.”One of Fifa’s main sponsors is listening.Credit card giant Visa said last week that it would support “women’s football with a marketing investment equal to our support of the men’s Fifa World Cup in Russia.” It did not disclose any figures.Visa is one of the sponsors that stuck with Fifa through its corruption scandal, calling for the departure in 2015 of Sepp Blatter, Fifa’s then-president who was eventually banned for financial misconduct.After being elected as Blatter’s successor in 2016, Infantino said “Fifa was clinically dead as an organization.” Now, the Swiss-Italian has the budget is in a healthy state, and is due to be re-elected unopposed in June to a four-year term.The 2015-18 finances exceed the forecasts that were presented to the Fifa Congress in June. 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1. The rich zooplankton, fish and squid resources on the Patagonian Shelf sustain substantial populations of largely resident seabirds and marine mammals, These habitats are also visited seasonally by similar species from elsewhere but few data exist on their status and origin. Recent studies, using satellite-tracking to determine foraging ranges and feeding areas of seabirds and am marine mammals breeding at South Georgia, have shown that several species make substantial use of the waters of the Patagonian Shelf. 2. Wandering albatrosses use shelf-edge areas year-round with direct observations of both sexes of almost all age classes, including, breeding, pre-breeding and non-breeding individuals. White-chinned petrels and female Northern and Southern giant petrels mainly visit during incubation and post-breeding, particularly to the Falklands Current (White-chinned petrels) and to upwelling areas around the southern shelf-break from the Burdwood Bank in the cast to Staten Island and Diego Ramirez in the west (giant petrels). Northern giant petrel males during incubation and Antarctic fur seals in winter reach inner shelf habitats in the northern sector. In contrast, South Georgia populations of black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses do not appear to use the Patagonian Shelf at any stage of their breeding cycle. 3. Although the use of the Patagonian Shelf by visiting species is now best documented for South Georgia species, recent observational data confirm that seabirds from Diego Ramirez, Tristan da Cunha and Gough visit the southern and northern sectors, during both breeding and non-breeding seasons respectively. Several Antarctic species (notably Antarctic fulmar and cape petrel) winter in the region as do at least two albatross species from New Zealand; other species (especially Wilson’s storm petrels) use it as a staging ground on migration, as do several species of baleen whales and possibly other cetacean species. 4. Three of the seabird species which breed on the Patagonian Shelf are Globally Threatened; seven of the visiting species (and four baleen whale species) also have this status. The Patagonian Shelf is, therefore, not only of global importance for the diversity and abundance of its resident top predators but is just as critical for the survival of many visiting species, some of which are even more endangered. 5. Combining data from satellite-tracking with conventional mapping from direct observations offers the prospect of defining the foraging ranges (and the main feeding areas within these) of a range of key top predator species. Such data should be used, in conjunction with similar information of the distributions of fish, squid and zooplankton resources and of fishing effort, to identify critical marine habitats whose precautionary, multiple-use sustainable management will be vital to protect the interests of both commercial fishers and top predators.